BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — China Thursday levied a hefty fine on three domestic crude drug manufacturers for violating anti-monopoly rules.

The country levied a fine of 12.83 million yuan (1.87 million U.S. dollars), including the confiscation of illegal income, on three producers of glacial acetic acid, a crude drug used for hemodialysis concentrated liquid, the State Administration for Market Regulation said in an online statement.

The penalty came after a months-long investigation by the administration, which found the three companies had violated the country’s anti-monopoly rules.

The companies are the only three manufacturers of glacial acetic acid in the Chinese market, and their price fixing has disrupted market order, increased costs of downstream pharmaceutical companies and affected hemodialysis patients, according to the statement.

It said that after the investigation, the three companies adjusted to competitive prices and vowed to ensure market supply.

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