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Italy: Health regs want $2B from pharma giants’ repeated antitrust violations

 |  May 28, 2014

Italy’s health regulator is reportedly seeking damages worth nearly$2 billion from three of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms for their repeated antitrust violations and subsequent harm on the nation’s health industry.

According to reports, the nation’s health ministry announced Wednesday it is seeking about $1.6 billion in damages from Novartis and Roche for anticompetitive action taken between 2012 and 2014; it wants another $19 million from Pfizer.

In its statement, the regulator cited various antitrust rulings against the pharmaceutical firms that lead to “considerable damage” imposed on Italy’s health service.

The announcement follows two months after the nation’s antirust regulator found Roche and Novartis of striking an unfair pay-for-delay deal, which saw Novartis pay Roche to prevent the release of a less expensive drug. The companies were fined $254.2 million.

The companies denied any wrongdoing and said they plan to appeal the decision.

Italy’s highest administrative court ruled last February that Pfizer abused its marked dominance regarding another drug.

The violations are now the reason health officials are calling for the companies to pay up, claiming the harm done to competition by the alleged behavior has lead to harm to national healthcare.

Full content: Business Recorder

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