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France fines J&J over anti-competition issues

Neil Hodge | January 17, 2018

France’s competition authority has hit U.S. healthcare group Johnson & Johnson with a €25 million fine after it found that the company had deliberately slowed market access to generic copies of its painkiller Durogesic.

France’s Autorité de la Concurrence said Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Janssen-Cilag, had not only “repeatedly intervened” to block the approval processes in France of Durogesic’s generic copies, but had also deliberately disparaged them when in contact with doctors and other healthcare professionals.

Durogesic is sold as a skin patch to control ongoing moderate to severe pain and is often prescribed in cancer cases. It contains fentanyl, an opioid which—if misused—can lead to death by overdose.

The competition authority says that Janssen-Cilag’s strategy to delay the sale of rival generic drugs was born in 2005—the year... To get the full story, subscribe now.