You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

EU fines drug firms over delay

AMSTERDAM — The European Commission has fined pharmaceuticals giants Johnson & Johnson and Novartis a combined $22 million for colluding to delay the entrance of a cheap generic form of a pain killer to the Dutch market.

In a statement, the commission’s antitrust chief, Joaquin Almunia, said the two companies ‘‘shockingly deprived patients in the Netherlands, including people suffering from cancer, from access to a cheaper version of this medicine.’’

Continue reading below

The commission found that after Johnson & Johnson’s patent on a patch containing the drug Fentanyl expired in 2005, it paid Novartis to delay launching a generic version.

The delay lasted 17 months, and was more profitable for both companies than competing honestly would have been.

J&J’s fine was $14.7 million, and Novartis’s was $7.6 million.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.