Novartis, J&J fined for delaying generic drug

The EU is cracking down on deals between drug makers to block generic medicines Keystone

Pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Johnson & Johnson have been fined to a total sum of CHF19.5 million ($22 million) by EU antitrust regulators for blocking the sale of a generic painkiller in the Netherlands.

This content was published on December 10, 2013 - 17:08 and agencies

The European Commission said that Johnson & Johnson had paid Novartis for delaying the sale of a cheaper version of a painkiller, which had lost patent protection in July 2005, for 17 months.

Johnson & Johnson was hit by a CHF13.1 million fine, while Basel-based pharma company Novartis will have to stump up CHF6.7 million.

Both companies’ Dutch subsidiaries are included in the judgement.

It’s the second time the commission has punished drug makers who pay other companies not to market cheaper, generic versions of their brand-name products.

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