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The UK antitrust regulator accused Merck of illegally offering discounts for the Remicade biologic medicine in order to block lower-cost biosimilar versions.

In a brief statement, the Competition and Markets Authority said it found that the drug maker “provisionally” broke the competition law and was “abusing its dominant position” in the market with its discount scheme. Remicade is used to treat chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis


A Merck spokeswoman wrote us that the company is “confident that the proceedings will show that [Merck] has complied with competition law at all times. The discounts in question meant that [Remicade] was competitively priced and offered savings to the UK National Health Service, without hindering competition … and Merck welcomes the opportunity to respond.”

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