- Pharmaceutical and medical-products distributor Cardinal Health will pay $26.8 million in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission to address charges that it monopolized sales of low-energy radiopharmaceuticals in 25 markets.
- The charges allege that Cardinal forced hospitals and clinics to pay inflated prices for the drugs, which are used to diagnose heart disease and other conditions.
- The settlement is the second largest that the FTC has obtained in an antitrust case, according to the agency. The money will be placed into a fund that will be distributed to customers who paid the inflated prices.
According to the FTC, Cardinal used a variety of tactics to ensure that Bristol Myers-Squibb and General Electric denied grant distribution rights for the drugs to its competitors in those 25 markets.
"We have reason to believe that Cardinal Heath, by preventing other radiopharmacies from entering its markets, was able to deny customers the benefits of competition and reap monopoly profits from the sale of radiopharmaceuticals for a sustained period of years," said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez in a statement.
The company is now prohibited from entering simultaneous exclusive deals with makers of the same radiopharmaceutical product. It must also notify the agency before entering into any new exclusive distribution agreements.