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Drug firm denies monopoly claims


The firm which manufactures indigestion medicine Gaviscon has denied that it attempted to maintain a market monopoly, thereby “cheating the NHS” in the UK out of millions of pounds.

Reckitt Benckiser issued the denial after a series of emails were leaked, which suggested that executives at the group created obstacles to rival products.

One of the company’s former employees told BBC Newsnight that Reckitt Benckiser had “cheated the NHS” and could have saved it “millions”.

However, the drug firm said it was a “responsible company” and denied it had enough power to carry out such a scheme, though it added that it has now launched an internal investigation into the “inappropriate sentiment” featured in the memos.

In a statement, Reckitt Benckiser said: “We are shocked by the allegations made in the press, and by the inappropriate sentiment expressed in some of the internal correspondence of 2003.

“Reckitt Benckiser is a responsible company in the way it conducts its business, and we have therefore instigated an immediate internal investigation, and will take action. However, we do not accept much of what has been alleged, which implies a power or patient access we simply do not possess.”

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Reckitt Benckiser

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