Italy fines Novartis, Roche €182.5M for alleged collusion

|About: Novartis AG (NVS)|By:, SA News Editor

The Italian Competition Authority has fined Novartis (NVS) €92M and Roche (RHHBY) €90.5M for forming a cartel to push doctors to prescribe their jointly marketed and more expensive Lucentis therapy to treat vision problems instead of Roche's Avastin, which is older and far cheaper.

The agency accused the companies of portraying Avastin as riskier than Lucentis in order to influence prescriptions.

Both firms said they would appeal.

Novartis and Roche could face further problems if the EU looks into the case and finds that the collusion extended beyond Italy.