The two companies are direct competitors in the diabetes treatment market.
But in 2019, Novo Nordisk issued a press release comparing Novo Nordisk’s drug Tresiba with Sanofi’s Toujeo, which was misleading, the court states.
The judges emphasize that Novo Nordisk also crossed the line in 2017 by issuing an illegal press release, and that Sanofi was also violated at the time.
The Maritime and Commercial Court cannot see mitigating circumstances. As a large global pharmaceutical company, the Danish company must “be assumed to have in-depth knowledge of rules and professional standards in relation to communication of study results”, it is stated in the premises.
The current case concerns a press release issued by the Danish company in September last year. The message was that a study showed that the French company’s product was associated with a greater risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) than the Danish company’s.
But there was no professional evidence for that, the court states in the 77-page judgment.
The announcement is an expression of an illegal drug advertisement in favor of Novo Nordisk’s product. And it could hurt the demand for the competitor’s drug, it says.
The fine of half a million kroner is due to the fact that the press release could discredit and downgrade Sanofi’s product, which is a violation of the Marketing Act.
The court has not seen precise evidence that the French company’s turnover has fallen as a result of the Danish company’s actions, but the estimated damage is estimated at half a million kroner. Sanofi had demanded a little over a million in compensation.
The two drugs are so-called basal insulin preparations. Worldwide, Sanofi’s sales are estimated at approximately 0.9 billion euros, while Novo Nordisk sells for approximately 1.2 billion euros, the decision states.
Source: The Nordic Page