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Roche and Novartis fined a collective €444 million in France for abusive practices

Published on 11/09/20 at 12:20pm
Andrew- from Flickr

Novartis and Roche have been fined €444 million in France for abusive practices the companies implemented to push Lucentis over a cheaper drug. 

Roche will be fined €60 million and Novartis must pay €384 million.

Both are partnered on Lucentis, which has been developed for treating patients with blindness-causing macular degeneration (AMD), with Roche selling it in the US while Novartis sells the drug in Europe. 

Doctors have been turning to Roche’s cheaper alternative Avastin to treat the condition which only costs between €30 and €40 per injection compared to Luncentis which costs around €1,161 per injection. 

The fines come from France’s competition authority which stated that the pair of companies used their dominant position to push Lucentis at Avastin’s expense. This included Novartis unjustifiably exaggerating the risks of being treated with Avastin. 

In response to the fines, Roche said: “This decision relies on a gross misinterpretation of the facts and a distortion of previous case law.” The company added that it would “assess our next steps.”

Conor Kavanagh

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