Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 18:31 UK

Drugs giant settles 800K claim

Norton has agreed similar deals with other health boards

A US healthcare giant has agreed a 800,000 settlement with the health service in Northern Ireland over the alleged price-fixing of generic drugs.

Norton was among a number of companies named in court papers over the alleged formation of price-fixing cartels.

The drugs company agreed to the payment on a "full and final basis" but did not admit liability.

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said the cash would be used to support the delivery of frontline patient services.

The Department of Health said Norton had also agreed to co-operate in continuing civil claims against a number of other drugs companies over similar allegations.

The settlement came a day after a similar deal in Scotland, which saw the company agreeing to pay out 2.8m.

The cartels were alleged to have been formed to fix the price of drugs sold to the NHS, including blood-thinning drug Warfarin, penicillin-based drugs and Ranitidine, used to treat some stomach conditions.

Two years ago, Norton paid the NHS in England and Wales 13.5m over the claims, again without admitting liability.

Drug group backs 2.8m settlement
30 Apr 08 |  Scotland
Drug firm settles NHS price claim
04 Mar 08 |  Scotland
Norton settles price fixing claim
04 Apr 06 |  Business

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