¥420 million fine eyed for 3 drug wholesalers

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s Fair Trade Commission plans to order three major drug wholesalers to pay a total of about ¥420 million in fines for rigging bids for contracts to supply ethical drugs to an independent administrative body, according to informed sources.

The three companies found to have violated the antimonopoly law are Alfresa Corp., Toho Pharmaceutical Co. and Suzuken Co.

The FTC will also urge the companies to take measures to prevent a recurrence of such wrongdoing, the sources said Sunday.

Late last month, the commission notified the companies of the punishment plan. It will make a final decision after hearing opinions from them.

In November 2019, the FTC raided the three companies and Mediceo Corp.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office’s special investigation team indicted Alfresa and Toho, both based in Tokyo, as well as Suzuken, headquartered in Nagoya. Tokyo-based Mediceo was exempted from indictment as the company voluntarily reported the bid-rigging.