Drug price-fixing: Apotex agrees $100m deal

Image copyright PA Image caption Apotex is one of Canada’s largest drug makers

Canadian pharmaceuticals giant Apotex is one of 13 companies to have paid $100m (£77m) as part of an agreement to help the US government’s investigation into alleged price-fixing.

Apotex admitted price-fixing in contracts between 1992 and 2007.

It is one of six Canadian drug makers to reach a deal with the Justice Department.

It is also among the six that have admitted a part in an international price-fixing group which has since shut down.

The case against the companies is being heard at the federal court in Colorado.

Canadian drug maker Apotex is one of the eight remaining in the national case.

It made a total payment of $35m in the first settlement.

Apotex will receive a fine of $5.2m, reducing its interest expenses.

Last year, the company was fined $45m in separate Canadian proceedings.

The deal ended a six-year investigation by the Justice Department of violations including conspiracy, interstate commerce by fraud, fraud in violation of a Supervision Law and the sale of drugs without valid prescriptions.

Companies involved were charged by the Attorney General of the United States of America with conspiracy to eliminate competition, sale of drugs without valid prescriptions, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and other violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Companies may also face civil and criminal penalties and have their business licences suspended.

In addition to US and Canadian authorities, the investigation has included Brazilian authorities.

Got your say

Barry Sherman is remembered fondly by some colleagues at Apotex who did not want to be named.

One of them said the 70-year-old drug maker would be remembered for his “casual approach” and humour.

The employee added: “I remember a time he walked in, didn’t look at the desk or at his card, and because he was paying by cash walked in and did some work, he’d leave and off he’d go.”

Mr Sherman has a long record of philanthropy.

In 2005, he vowed to donate $30m to the Cancer Research Centre at the University of Toronto, which named its new building in his honour.

It was named for his parents Leonard and Dorothy Sherman.

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