Thursday, 27 April 2017

India's antitrust watchdog orders probe into Roche cancer drug

MUMBAI - India's antitrust regulator has ordered a probe into Swiss drugmaker Roche for allegedly using anti-competitive practices to restrict cheaper copies of a blockbuster cancer drug from reaching patients. Trastuzumab has been a mainstay of Roche's profit for years and brought in global sales of about $6.7 billion in 2016, but it has been challenged in the last three years by biosimilars which are sold at about a 25 percent discount to the original.


India's Biocon and U.S. firm Mylan, which together sell biosimilars of the drug in over a dozen countries including India, filed a complaint with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) last year alleging Roche misled doctors and regulators to thwart competition to trastuzumab. India, with among the highest number of cancer patients in the world, is a big market for trastuzumab, which is indicated to treat certain forms of breast and gastric cancer.

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