Ranbaxy (UK) has agreed to pay compensation of £1,057,500 to Scotland’s government and Health Boards to settle allegations that it engaged in anti-competitive conduct in connection with the supply of drugs to the Scottish National Health Service (NHS).

The firm has agreed to pay the compensation “on a full and final basis and without admission of liability,” in order to settle the claims relating to the supply of penicillin-based drugs and ranitidine. It has also agreed to cooperate in the continuing civil claims against a number of other companies regarding alleged price-fixing arrangements for a number of generic drugs.

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon described the settlement as “very welcome,” and said she was particularly pleased that Ranbaxy had agreed to provide “cooperation in respect of the government’s continuing civil claims.”

In February 2005, the Scottish government and Health Boards lodged claims in the civil courts in England against a number of companies in connection with forming alleged price-fixing cartels in respect of generic warfarin, ranitidine and penicillin-based drugs. This latest settlement with Ranbaxy comes after those agreed with Clonmell Healthcare, Generics UK, Goldshield and Norton; these four firms together paid compensation totaling around £5.9 million.

Moreover, in 2007 Ranbaxy, Norton, Generics (UK) and Goldshield paid compensation totaling around £34 million to the Department of Health in England to settle claims of anti-competitive behaviour surrounding the supply of generic antibiotics to the NHS in England during 1996-2000. Again, in agreeing to pay compensation, the firms did not admit liability and agreed to cooperate with parallel ongoing investigations by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), codenamed Operation Holbein.

However, on July 11 this year, Operation Holbein collapsed before reaching trial, and on December 3 the Court of Appeal rejected an application by the Office to get this decision reversed.

- In January this year, the Welsh government announced that it had hired a team of corporate investigators to examine, on an “invest to save” basis, claims that a number of drugmakers had formed a cartel to fix the prices of generics and supply them to the NHS in Wales at artificially inflated prices.