Britain's National Health Service will be filing a lawsuit worth £89 million against Reckitt Benckiser, alleging that the consumer-goods group had created a secret plan to milk more cash out of the NHS.
Reckitt Benckiser is already under the cosh and has been slapped with a £10.2m fine from the Office of Fair Trading due to anti-competitive practices.
NHS claims that the company devised a secret plan, known as Project Atlas, through which it would be pulling out Gaviscon Original Liquid from the NHS prescription list as soon as the patent expired.
The NHS would have been then forced to prescribe the alternative product, Gaviscon Advance Liquid, which was still under patent and had no generic competition. The health agency also alleged that Reckitt deliberately delayed publishing the generic name of the treatment which would have allowed NHS to prescribe cheaper alternatives.