Canadian drugmaker says it’ll end $100M lawsuit alleging price-fixing scheme

Drugmaker Apotex Inc. has spent $100 million to end a U.S. lawsuit alleging collusion to fix prices and provide false data about its competition to artificially bolster sales, Canada’s largest privately-held pharmaceutical company announced…

Canadian drugmaker says it'll end $100M lawsuit alleging price-fixing scheme

Drugmaker Apotex Inc. has spent $100 million to end a U.S. lawsuit alleging collusion to fix prices and provide false data about its competition to artificially bolster sales, Canada’s largest privately-held pharmaceutical company announced Wednesday.

The company also agreed to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration access to potentially biased competitive information and complete staff reviews of generic-drug competitors to resolve another delay, a spokeswoman for Apotex said in an email.

Generic drugmakers have a long list of claims against each other. Many get in price talks but face competition, and some, such as Mylan NV, cut deals to ensure low prices. But other suits allege a cartel on drugs including insulin.

Apotex paid $87 million in 2016 and $40 million in 2017 to settle similar complaints with Canada’s Competition Bureau. The U.S. suit continues, with four of the six major generic-drug manufacturers accused to be part of it. The companies deny wrongdoing.

The U.S. and Canada have not accepted a case from Apotex, saying they are awaiting the outcome of the other companies’ cases. The charges, which began in 2013, allege that the companies agreed on prices, put competitors on notice of imbalances and prices changes, and made false data claims. A company committee prepared false data to try to conceal its role in the deal, the U.S. suit alleges.

“This litigation has been expensive for Apotex, but we are pleased to put it behind us and confident we acted appropriately,” Deborah Schick, a spokeswoman for the company, said in an email.

The Canadian drugmaker failed to compete against three of the six alleged members of the pact, according to the lawsuit. The company’s chief financial officer and the then-CEO failed to disclose information about an inter-company agreement, and the committee involved failed to perform its duties “under the dictates of an unidentified individual,” the U.S. suit said.

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