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AstraZeneca must pay €52.5m fine for anticompetitive tactics, rules European court

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8396 (Published 10 December 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8396
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The drug company AstraZeneca will have to pay a fine of €52.5m (£42.4m; $68m) for trying to prevent the marketing of cheaper generic versions of its blockbuster ulcer treatment omeprazole (marketed in the United Kingdom as Losec) after its appeal against a ruling made by the European Commission was rejected in the European Court of Justice.

The commission welcomed the decision, saying that it showed that misuse of drug regulatory procedures could amount to an abuse of antitrust rules. AstraZeneca said that it was disappointed, that it took compliance with all laws seriously, and that it was committed to doing business in an ethical and proper manner.

The dispute between the company and the commission is longstanding and relates to activities undertaken by AstraZeneca between 1993 and 2000. After a complaint by two …

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