Novartis and Alcon are the only two companies that sell injectable miotics, a group of drugs used in cataract eye surgery.
Sales of the two cataract drugs marketed by both Novartis and Alcon totaled $12.4 million in 2009. The antitrust regulator said that as it currently stands, Novartis’s purchase of Alcon would be anticompetitive for US consumers and would probably result in increased prices for the eye care drugs.
Under an agreement with the FTC, Novartis will sell its drug Miochol-E to competitor Bausch & Lomb within 10 days of completing the acquisition.
Novartis said earlier this year that it would acquire the remaining 77 percent of the Swiss company it did not own.