Roche, Novartis Fined $250M Over Drug Collusion In Italy

Law360, New York (March 5, 2014, 9:34 PM EST) -- Italy’s antitrust enforcer hit Swiss drugmakers Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. and Novartis AG with more than $250 million in fines Wednesday for allegedly colluding to direct eye patients away from the companies' drug Avastin to their more expensive Lucentis drug.

The Italian Competition Authority found that since 2011 the two companies arranged to portray the cheaper Avastin as more dangerous than Lucentis in order to influence the prescriptions of doctors and health services, the ICA said in a statement Wednesday.

Physicians use both drugs, which are based...
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