Skip to Content

FTC: Novartis Must Divest Eye Care Drug

From Associated Press (August 16, 2010)

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Trade Commission said Monday that Swiss drugmaker Novartis would have to stop selling a type of eye drug in order to complete its planned acquisition of eye care company Alcon.

Novartis and Alcon are the only two companies that sell injectable miotics, a group of drugs used in cataract eye surgery. Sales of the two cataract drugs marketed by both Novartis and Alcon totaled $12.4 million in 2009. The antitrust regulator said that as it currently stands, Novartis’ purchase of Alcon would be anticompetitive for U.S. consumers and likely result in increased prices for the eye care drugs.

Under an agreement with the FTC, Novartis will sell its drug Miochol-E to competitor Bausch & Lomb within ten days of completing the acquisition. The FTC said that Rochester, N.Y.-based Bausch & Lomb "is well-positioned to manufacture and market Miochol-E and compete effectively against Novartis."

Novartis announced earlier this year it would acquire the remaining 77 percent of the Swiss company it didn’t already own.

Posted: August 2010