UK: GSK Paid Off Competitors To Delay Drugs
LONDON (AP) -- Britain's competition watchdog has accused GlaxoSmithKline of paying off competitors to delay launches of their own versions of GSK's best-selling antidepressant, Seroxat.
The Office of Fair Trading alleges GlaxoSmithKline concluded agreements which infringed competition law with Alpharma Limited, Generics (UK) Ltd and Norton Healthcare Ltd. over the supply of paroxetine, a cheaper version of Seroxat. The watchdog says GSK's conduct amounted to an abuse of its dominant position in the same market.
The OFT alleges that when the generic companies tried to compete with Seroxat, GSK challenged them with allegations that their products would infringe upon GSK patents. To settle the disputes, the generic companies concluded agreements with GSK.
The drug company says in a Friday statement that it supports fair competition and they believe they acted within the law.