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Friday, November 22, 2013

EU regulator likely to fine J&J, Novartis next month - sources, (NYSE: JNJ)

EU antitrust regulators are set to fine Johnson & Johnson and Novartis next month for blocking the sale of a generic painkiller in the Dutch market, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday.The sanction, the second against so-called pay-for-delay deals after fines against Lundbeck and eight others in June, underlines the European Commission's determination to crack down on a practice common in the pharmaceutical industry.In pay-for-delay agreements, brand-name firms pay generic companies not to market rival versions of their medicine which usually cost a fraction of the original drug, though the issue is complicated by patent ownership.Antitrust regulators on both sides of the Atlantic have in recent years criticised the practice for inflating consumers' bills and pushing up public healthcare costs.

Johnson & Johnson is a holding company. The Company is engaged in the research and development, manufacture and sale of a broad range of products in the health care field. Shares of JNJ fell by 0.57% or $-0.54/share to $94.66. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $68.60 and as high as $95.75. On average, 7503900 shares of JNJ exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 479013.