Roche, Novartis slapped with $526M fine in France

Sept. 10, 2020

Regulators in France have hit Roche and Novartis with a $526 million fine for abusive marketing practices. 

The fine stems from the companies’ alleged attempts to protect sales for Lucentis, an expensive injection developed to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Lucentis was developed by Roche’s Genentech and is being marketed by Novartis. France’s Competition Authority alleges that the companies teamed up to push Lucentis over Avastin, Roche’s cheaper alternative to Lucentis that can be used off-label to treat AMD. In particular, French authorities said that the companies “unjustifiably exaggerated” Avastin’s risks.

Lucentis costs about $1,370 for each injection while Avastin costs $35-$47 per shot. 

Roche said it was disappointed in the ruling and is deciding “next steps.” 

Read the full Reuters report.