Pfizer, Dexa fined for price fixing
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 09/28/2010 9:21 AM | Business
The Business Competition Supervisory Agency (KPPU) fined pharmaceutical companies PT Pfizer Indonesia and PT Dexa Medica Rp 25 billion (US$2.8 million) and Rp 20 billion respectively on Monday for participation in a price fixing scheme involving amlodipine tablets.
In its verdict, the antimonopoly agency said that the two companies were involved in cartel practices which had led to skyrocketing prices of their amlodipine tables.
The price of Norvask, produced by Pfizer, was 14.6 times more expensive than the average international price, while Tensivak, produced by Dexa Media, was 13.6 times higher, KPPU commissioner Ahmad Ramadhan Siregar said.
“Supposedly, the difference between the local and international price should only be 2.5 times,” Siregar said.
In addition to the fine, KPPU also asked Pfizer to slash the price of Norvask by 65 percent, while Dexa was asked to lower the price of its Tensivak tablet by 60 percent.
Speaking to reporters following the issuance of the verdict, Dexa Medica representative HMBC Rikrik Rizkiyanan said the decision was unfair because the verdict was taken without considering “apple to apple” price comparisons.
The international price used for comparison by the commission was based on the World Health Organization bulk purchase price, Rikrik said.
“We buy our medicine at retail prices, so of course the price is different,” he said.
PT Pfizer Indonesia also opposed the verdict.
“We are not involved in any cartel practices, as alleged by the commission,” Pfizer’s spokesperson
Chrisma A Albandjar said, adding that the company believed that the antimonopoly commission had failed to weigh the evidence appropriately.
The commission did not consider evidence showing Dexa Medica and Pfizer Indonesia were competitors, and that both companies had never been involved in making any agreement in price fixing or production, Chrisma said.
Pfizer rejected all allegations that Pfizer and Dexa had made an agreement in order to control the supply of raw materials, and would appeal the commission’s decision to the district court, she said.
KPPU: Pfizer and Units Breach Anti-Monopoly Law
Kompas, Selasa, 28 September 2010 | 15:27 WIB
JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com -Indonesia's antitrust agency, or KPPU, said Tuesday it has found U.S.-based Pfizer Inc. (PFE) along with four of its units and a local firm guilty of breaching monopoly regulations on their anti-hypertensive products. Pfizer, its units and local firm PT Dexa Medica wrongly used their dominant position in the market for anti-hypertensive products to overcharge consumers, the KPPU said.
The KPPU has ordered Pfizer and its subsidiaries--PT Pfizer Indonesia (PD-PFE), Pfizer Overseas LLC, Pfizer Global Trading and Pfizer Corporation Panama--to pay a maximum fine of IDR25 billion ($2.8 million) each, while Dexa Medica has been asked to pay a fine of IDR20 billion.
“The firms have arrangements which influence prices, production and marketing, and resulting in monopoly practice. They have abused their dominant position,“ said Ahmad Ramadhan Siregar, a judge of the KPPU commission that delivered the verdict.
“The price of Norvask in Indonesia is 14.6 times higher than the price to the World Health Organization (WHO),“ he said, referring to the anti- hypertensive brand produced by Pfizer. “The fair price of the product is about 2.5 times of the price it sold to WHO.“ The amlodipine product is called Norvasc in North America.
“The commission ordered Pfizer Indonesia to lower the (selling) price of Norvask by 65% and ordered Dexa Medica to lower the price of Tensivask by 60%,“ Siregar added.
The KPPU's findings were denied by Pfizer Indonesia and Dexa Medica.
“PT Pfizer Indonesia does not hold a dominant position in anti-hypertensive medicines, there are hundreds of such products in the market,“ it said in a statement, while Dexa Medica's lawyer, Rikrik Rizkiyana, said the retail price and the price for WHO “is not an apple-to-apple comparison.“
Both companies said they will appeal the decision. The KPPU has also asked Pfizer Indonesia and Dexa Medica to slash their promotion costs by 60% and limit sponsorship for doctors.
“Drug makers organized events such as education seminars for doctors, but it's actually a promotion of their products, building brand loyalty among doctors,“ Siregar told Dow Jones Newswires.
Pfizer paid $2.3 billion in settlement to resolve criminal and civil liability from illegal promotions last year, the largest health care fraud settlement in the history of U.S. Department of Justice.
The Department of Justice said in a statement dated Sept. 2, 2009 that the settlement “also resolves allegations that Pfizer paid kickbacks to health care providers to induce them to prescribe“ specific drugs.