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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

EU regulators fine J&J, Novartis for generic drug deal, (NYSE: JNJ)

European Union regulators fined drugmakers Johnson & Johnson and Novartis 16.3 million euros ($22 million) for blocking the sale of a cheaper generic painkiller and warned others against such anti-competitive deals.This is the second penalty by the European Commission against so-called pay-for-delay deals where brand-name companies pay generic rivals not to sell their versions of a drug at a fraction of the original price.The practice, common in the pharmaceutical industry, has caught the attention of regulators around the world because it raises consumers' bills and public healthcare costs.The EU competition watchdog said on Tuesday that the deal between Johnson & Johnson and Novartis meant cancer patients did not have access to the cheaper generic version of fentanyl for 17 months starting from July 2005.

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 traded higher by 0.14% or $0.135/share to $94.58. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $69.18 and as high as $95.99. On average, 7318800 shares of JNJ exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 1889155.