Novo Nordisk sued over anti-competitive practices

Drug distribution companies are suing for lost earnings after Novo Nordisk kept a cheaper generic version of its drug off the market

Pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk is being sued in the US by drug distribution companies that accuse Novo of anti-competitive practices, Jyllands-Posten newspaper reports.

Novo Nordisk is accused of keeping cheaper generic copies of its drug Prandin off the market, forcing drug distribution companies to pay for a more expensive product.

Sales of Prandin earn the Danish company around 1.4 billion kroner a year, but their monopoly ended in June when a court found that its competitor Caraco was entitled to sell a generic copy.

READ MORE: Novo struggling with illegal hormone sales

Protecting monopoly
Caraco applied to produce its generic version in 2005 in advance of Novo Nordisk’s patent expiring in 2009, but Novo Nordisk blocked it through legal action and by attempting to extend its patent by changing its description in the so-called ‘Orange Book’ of approved drugs in the US.

The June ruling means that consumers have been paying inflated prices for the drug, leading three distribution companies – American Sales Company, Rochester Drug Co-op and Cardinal – to sue for lost earnings.

The generic version of Prandin is now on the market, and the damages will be calculated based on the price of the drug if the generic version had entered the market when it should have.

READ MORE: Lundbeck fined 700mn kroner for blocking generic

Blocking competition
Jyllands-Posten reports that the parties tend to settle in these types of cases and the damages could reach several hundred million kroner, but Novo Nordisk has said it will try and get the case dismissed from court.

Novo Nordisk is not the only Danish pharmaceutical accused of anti-competitive practices.

In June the EU fined Lundbeck 700 million kroner for conspiring with competitors to delay the introduction of generic versions of its drugs into the market. 





  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.