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EU fines Ranbaxy, 8 others for blocking cheaper drugs

Ranbaxy

dIgitalhealth

Some more bad news for Ranbaxy. The European Commission has fined the India-based drug-maker, along with eight other firms, on the charge of delaying launch of cheaper generic drugs in the market.

Ranbaxy has been fined €1,03,23,000 (over Rs 80 crore) for delaying the marketing of its generic version of depression drug citalopram made by Danish company Lundbeck.

Ranbaxy said it would appeal the decision at a general court in the European Union as it believed it was on a strong ground.

dIgitalhealth

The EC note said: In 2002, Lundbeck agreed with each of these companies to delay the market entry of cheaper generic versions of its branded citalopram, a blockbuster anti-depressant. These agreements violated EU anti-trust rules that prohibit anti-competitive agreements.

The generic companies fined included Alpharma (now part of Zoetis), Merck KGaA/Generics UK (Generics UK is now part of Mylan), Arrow (now part of Actavis), and Ranbaxy. The fine imposed by the European Commission on the nine companies totals €146 million.

A Ranbaxy spokesperson said the company was disappointed with the European Unions decision to rule its patent settlement agreement with Lundbeck, covering the anti-depression drug, as anti-competitive.

These events took place over 10 years ago. And the company considers that the Commission has misunderstood the facts and misapplied the law.

Recently, Ranbaxy agreed to pay $500 million to settle criminal and fraud charges in the US. The company was charged with data falsification, among others.

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