Pfizer "fully cooperating" in E.C. antitrust probe

As it turns out, Pfizer is also part of that European Commission antitrust probe. The company says the E.C. has asked for info related to the investigation, which is focusing on patent-dispute settlements between branded drugmakers and generics companies.

European antitrust regulators are concerned that cash payments are keeping generics off the market, costing governments and consumers money. And they're gathering information from Big Pharma and generics makers, to determine whether branded drugmakers are misusing their patent power to monopolize markets for various types of treatments.

Several drugmakers have announced that the regulators are looking into their operations--GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis, Roche, AstraZeneca, Novartis and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. We haven't heard from Pfizer until now. The company says it's confident that "all our actions are, and have always been, fully compliant with applicable competition and patent laws," Dow Jones reports. Pfizer also says it's fully cooperating in the probe.

- read the Dow Jones story