Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been accused of market “abuse” by the consumer watchdog, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
The OFT alleges that the company paid rivals to delay the release their own versions of GSK’s antidepressant drug Seroxat (paroxetine).
Alpharma, Generics UK and Norton Healthcare all received money not to enter the market with their copies of Seroxat.
Seroxat is a drug used to treat depression.
Consumer watchdog Office of Fair Trading alleges that GSK paid rivals to delay the release their own versions of Seroxat drug
The generic drug makers were attempting to supply the UK market with their versions of paroxetine, which GlaxoSmithKline brands as Seroxat, the OFT said.
GSK accused them of infringing its patent, so to resolve this dispute the pharmaceutical company effectively paid the three companies off, according to the OFT.
If proven, the allegations would be an infringement on the part of all the parties of competition law and on the part of GSK an abuse of its dominant place in the market.
“The introduction of generic medicines can lead to strong competition on price, which can drive savings for the NHS, to the benefit of patients and, ultimately, taxpayers,” said Ann Pope, senior director of services, infrastructure and public markets at the OFT.
“It is therefore particularly important that the OFT fully investigates concerns that independent generic entry may have been delayed in this case.”
The companies will now be asked to respond to its allegations, before the OFT makes a decision on whether or not competition law has been infringed.
Apple has announced that will refund Australian customers who felt misled about the 4G capabilities of the new iPad.
The country’s consumer watchdog has taken Apple to court for false advertising because the tablet computer does not work on Australia’s 4G network.
Apple’s lawyers said they were willing to publish a clarification.
However, Appler the company does not accept that it misled customers.
Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said on Tuesday “that Apple’s recent promotion of the new <<iPad with wi-fi + 4G>> is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product can, with a Sim card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case“.
Apple has announced that will refund Australian customers who felt misled about the 4G capabilities of the new iPad
The watchdog then lodged a complaint at the Federal Court in Melbourne.
At a preliminary hearing, Apple lawyer Paul Anastassiou said Apple had never claimed the device would work fully on the current 4G network operated by Telstra.
Apple says the new iPad works on what is globally accepted to be a 4G network.
The matter could go to full trial after the Easter break.
The Apple iPad’s third version went on sale earlier this month, with Australia the first country where it was available.
Shoppers lined up by the hundreds at Apple stores on opening day and the company said it had been its strongest iPad launch to date.
The ACCC said it was seeking an injunction on sales as well as a financial penalty against Apple, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers.
On its website, Apple does state that 4G LTE is only supported on selected networks in the US and Canada.