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Retailers Say Abbott Abuses Monopoly Of Anti-HIV Protease Inhibitor

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Abbott Laboratories abuses its monopoly in boosted protease inhibitors, used to fight HIV, by raising the price of the drug Norvir, Safeway and four other giant retailers claim in a federal antitrust complaint.

Plaintiffs, including Walgreen, Kroger, Albertson's, and American Sales Co., claim Abbott cheats by not hiking the price of its own protease inhibitor, Kaletra, which consists of Norvir and another Abbott protease inhibitor. Plaintiffs claim the market manipulation is all the more objectionable because Abbott developed Norvir with an NIH grant and spent only $15 million of its own money on developing the drug, which has brought Abbott more than $1 billion in profits. Plaintiffs demand treble damages. They are represented in Federal Court by Dillingham & Murphy. See complaint.

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