Vitamin Cartel Action Filed Against Roche In Panama

By Pete Brush (September 10, 2009, 4:33 PM EDT) -- The Panamanian livestock-raising firm Industrias Lacteas SA on Thursday launched an antitrust class action against F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., accusing the global health care giant of overcharging for purchases of bulk vitamins between January 1992 and March 1998.

The Spanish-language complaint, filed in the First Judicial Circuit of Panama, seeks recovery for parties who were overcharged in what Roche admitted in 1999 was a cartel, but could not recover in the United States as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 2004 Empagran SA v. Hoffmann–La Roche decision.

That ruling curtailed the ability of foreign plaintiffs to pursue their claims...

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