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France: Novartis, Roche fined millions in pay-for-delay scheme

 |  March 5, 2014

French regulators fine Swiss pharmaceutical giants Novartis and Roche for their alleged anticompetitive pay-for-delay agreements that blocked the sale of a cheaper version of a Roche-made cancer drug, say reports.

Italy announced Wednesday that it has imposed a fine of $251 million on the companies after finding evidence the competing firms colluded to prevent the sale of Roche’s cheaper cancer drug Avastin, used to tread an eye disease, to allegedly place more market favor to Novartis’s Lucentis, which costs more.

Reports say the companies partnered to market the more expensive drug.

The two companies have denied the allegations and Roche has since vowed to appeal the fines, say reports. But the sanctions follow consumer advocacy group the European Consumer Organization’s calls for an EU-wide investigation into the practice of pharma giants colluding to block the sale of a cheaper drug to promote sales of a more expensive version of the same treatment, known as a pay-for-delay scheme.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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