Vitamin makers settle with states

Keith Loria Sep. 20, 2010, 7:14pm


LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline) - Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox on Friday announced a $25 million multistate settlement with a dozen vitamin manufacturers that allegedly participated in a price-fixing scheme.

Twelve vitamin manufacturers, accused of inflating the prices of 16 vitamins, were charged in the alleged price-fixing conspiracy, which caused government health care programs to pay more for the products than they should have.

"Strong competition in the free market is important to keep prices low and health care affordable," Cox said. "My office remains dedicated to ensuring competition thrives and Michigan citizens receive quality, affordable health care."

The companies involved in the settlement include Akzo Nobel Inc.; Bioproducts Incorporated, Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Mitsui & Co. Inc.; Chinook Global Limited and Chinook Group Inc.; Evonik Degussa GmbH and Evonik Degussa Corporation; Lonza AG; Merck KGaA, E. Merck OHG and EM Industries Inc.; Nepera Inc.; Sumitomo Chemical America Inc. and Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd.; Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation and Tanabe U.S.A. Inc.; UCB Pharma Inc.; and, Vertellus Specialties Inc. and Vertellus Chemicals SA.

The Michigan Medicaid Trust Fund will gain approximately $1 million from the settlement.

The vitamins included in the scheme include Vitamin A and A blends; vitamin B1, also known as thiamin; vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin; vitamin B3, also known as niacin; vitamin B4, also known as choline chloride, vitamin B5, also known as calpan; vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine; vitamin B9, also known as folic acid; vitamin B12, also known as cyanocobalamine pharma; vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin H, also known as biotin; Astaxanthin; Beta-Carotene; Canthaxanthin and Premix.

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