France’s anti-trust regulator has fined a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary nearly $30 million for running a “smear campaign” to thwart generic competition to its Durogesic painkiller, which is sold as a skin patch.

The fine, announced Wednesday, singles out two actions by the Janssen-Cilag unit of J&J.

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  • Basically J&J is accused of competing by raising issues with the generic form of Durogesic with healthcare professionals. Is what they were saying true? Or in violation of a regulation? These points aren’t mentioned. If so, then there’s a valid case. But if J&J was making truthful points, I fail to see the basis of this complaint.
    Competing and making valid points (assuming they are such) is competition. Because it’s a brand competing with a generic, it’s somehow wrong?
    Seems to me the French complaint is simply about the money.
    I’m not saying all the other anti-competitive examples noted here are OK, but that’s not what I see happening in this situation.

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