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Novartis, Abbott, Emcure face allegations of cartelisation in anti-diabetes drug Vildagliptin


Novartis, Abbott, Emcure face allegations of cartelisation in anti-diabetes drug Vildagliptin

The Swiss drug maker Novartis and US based Abbott along with domestic companies Emcure and USV Pharma are under the lens of Health Ministry and Competition Commission of India (CCI) against the allegations of cartelisation for anti-diabetes drug Vildagliptin.

This comes after a whistleblower 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 synchronise every price change, it was alleged.

The said Whistleblower in a letter to NPPA stated that, “Though business agreement does not specify the control that Norvatis exercises on its co-marketer partners in terms of controlling the market and pricing, but in reality, all these companies have formed a price cartel, both in trade business and institutions business”, reports Quint

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority(NPPA) is in the process of investigating the whole case.

“How can such corporates, having global presence, fleece Indians for several years fearlessly, without getting noticed? I request CCI to investigate the matter and impose the heaviest possible penalty to set an example in the corporate landscape world over,” the whistleblower said in a letter to CCI

The cost of Novartis’ Galvus and metformin is Rs 258 for 10 tablets of 500 mg each, as do the combination of Jalra by USV and Vysov by Emcure. Abbott’s Zomelis costs Rs 235.

Novartis and other companies denied the said allegations. Novartis has also sought internal legal opinion on this issue. One of the Abbott spokesperson said it has not received any communication on this matter from the authorities, reports ET

Abbott told the daily said that they decided the price of Zomelis in trade channels, and do not discuss it with other companies.

When quint contacted NPPA chairman Bhupendra Singh regarding the news, he refused to react to media reports, but added that they take note of any development in the field.

Explaining the charges of cartelisation,Vaibhav Choukse, a lawyer said “World over, cartels are regarded as the supreme evil of antitrust, nothing less than an assault on an open market economy. The conviction rate in cartel cases involving bid rigging in public procurement are pretty high as compared to market abuse cases,”



Source: With inputs
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