Mumbai: Trouble is mounting for 4 big pharma companies over price fixing of an anti-diabetic drug. An investigation has initiated on drug makers Abbott, Novartis, Emcure Pharma and USV Pvt Ltd by Competition Commission of India (CCI) regarding alleged price fixing of the blockbuster anti-diabetic drug Vildagliptin according to a recent report in Economic Times.
Notice has been sent to these companies asking them for trade details of the drug Vildagliptin in an attempt to find out if the companies colluded with each other to keep the price of the drug at certain levels.
According to the report, CCI is also looking at the role of senior executives from these companies over price fixing.
Giving a reply to the email sent by ET, drug maker Novartis confirmed that it has received a notice from CCI and has responded to it. “Given that the matter is sub-judice, you will appreciate that we are unable to comment any further,” a company spokesperson said.
Vildagliptin, sold under the brand name Galvus, by Novartis comes under the new class of ant diabetic drugs known as DPP 4 inhibitors and are prescribed for patients with Type 2 diabetes. Novartis has licensed the marketing rights of the drug to Abbott, Emcure, and USV.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that in February this year, the whistleblower had reached out to authorities and contended in his letter to the NPPA, CCI and the Health Ministry that Novartis controls the pricing structure that is followed by the license holders and the drug prices are matched to the lowest decimal. Though there is no written communication, these companies also synchronize every price change, it was alleged.
Price cartelization is prohibited under the Competition Act, 2002.
If companies have proven guilty, CCI may impose a penalty of three times the total profit of the enterprise responsible for the infringement or 10 percent of turnover, whichever is higher.