Court upholds antitrust fines against Novartis, Roche

Accused of manipulating market for eye medication

(ANSA) - Rome, December 2 - The Lazio regional administrative court on Tuesday upheld an anti-trust fine of 180 million euros against two major international pharmaceutical manufacturers, Novartis and Roche.
    The court, known as TAR, dismissed appeals from the two Swiss-based companies which were accused of market manipulation in the sales of eye medication.
    The companies were alleged to have colluded to hamper use of a cheap eye drug in favour of a more expensive one.
    The alleged cartel promoting Novartis's Lucentis over Roche's Avastin is believed to have cost Italy's national health service over 45 million euros in 2012 alone, while future costs could potentially have reached 600 million euros a year.
   

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