24. October 2011 12:49
GSK has been fined three billion South Korean won ($2.6 million) for conspiring with Dong-A Pharmaceutical over drugs sales, a Fair Trade Commission (FTC) official has said.
The FTC claims that GSK offered Dong-A the exclusive rights to sell the products Zofran (pictured)and Valtrex in 2000.
But in return, the FTC says, if the Seoul-based pharmaceutical company pulled a generic version of Zofran it introduced in 1998 or ever produce or sell medication that could compete against Zofran and Valtrex.
Kim Jun-Ha, a FTC official involved in the case, says the two “shared benefits” which should have gone to consumers after GSK made wrongful gains of around 16 billion won.
“With the cheaper generics made by Dong-A taken off the market, the financial burden on patients and on the government's health insurance budget has increased,” Kim said.
GSK's South Korean unit says the decision is “very regrettable” and “inappropriate” and will appeal against the decision.
“We simply exercised our legitimate patent rights,” a statement said.
The anti-trust agency also fined Dong-A Pharmaceutical $2.1 billion won for its part in the collusion, it added.