Cardinal Health to Pay $28M to Settle Claims

     (CN) – Cardinal Health Inc. agreed to pay $26 million to settle claims it inflated prices for a class of drugs used to diagnose heart disease, the Federal Trade Commission announced.
     In a complaint filed in the Manhattan Federal Court, the regulator claimed Cardinal Health acquired two companies – one in 2003; the other, in 2004 — in order to become the nation’s largest operator of radiopharmicies and the sole radiopharmacy operator in 25 metropolitan areas.
     Radiopharmacies hand the preparation, compounding, quality control and dispensing of radioactive drugs.
     According to the FTC, Cardinal Health then employed a variety of tactics to coerce both General Electric and Bristol-Myers Squibb into refusing to grant distribution rights for their respective agents used in heart stress tests to its competitors.
     At the time, the two companies were the only producers of the materials, known as heart profusion agents, in the U.S.
     In addition to the cash settlement, the agreement also requires Cardinal Health to avoid entering into simultaneous deals with manufacturers of the same radiopharmsceutial product. It also includes a provision requiring the company to establish an antitrust compliance program.
     In a statement, Cardinal Health said while it agreed to the settlement, it did not admit or deny any wrongdoing. It also said it did not believe it had violated any laws.

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