Expert legal advice from the competition lawyers

Anti-competitive agreements for pharmaceutical drugs: statement of objections issued

First published by Author on August 12, 2019 in the following categories: Market Sharing Price Fixing Price Hikes Pricing and tagged with | | | | | | |

liothyronine tablets investigation

In the latest investigation into suspected anti-competitive agreements for pharmaceutical drugs, a statement of objections has been issued by the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority).

The statement was issued last month and relates to a number of pharmaceutical companies who stand accused of participating in anti-competitive behaviour. Whether it’s a case of formal agreements in place, or concerted practices, the issue surrounds the supply of 50mg and 100mg nitrofurantoin capsules in the UK.

This investigation by the CMA into the practices of pharmaceutical firms is one of many that have been ongoing for a number of years. They’re one of the most important areas the CMA needs to safeguard.

Latest suspected anti-competitive agreements for pharmaceutical drugs

In the latest news of investigations into suspected anti-competitive agreements for pharmaceutical drugs, a number of firms are under the microscope.

The statement of objections issued alleges that at least two suppliers of nitrofurantoin and a wholesaler engaged in anti-competitive behaviour between 2014 and 2017. The alleged arrangement is said to have involved Alliance Healthcare agreeing to buy equal volumes of drugs from two suppliers, AMCo (now Advanz) and Morningside.

There was also said to be an exclusivity arrangement in 2015 and 2016 whereby they would only supply to Alliance.

The importance of this investigation

This particular investigation into suspected anti-competitive agreements for pharmaceutical drugs involves another important prescription-only medicine.

This means that, where prices are inflated by breaches of important competition law,  it’s our NHS – i.e. the taxpayer – that’s picking up the bill to line the pockets of big pharmaceutical corporations.

This kind of behaviour isn’t fair, and it’s completely immoral!

If the suspicions of the alleged behaviour are found to be true, the companies involved deserve significant financial penalties. So far, the CMA has confirmed that they have provisionally found that AMCo allegedly disclosed sensitive pricing information to Morningside with the aim of reducing competition between them.

What’s being said about the alleged behaviour?

Comments made by the CMA over the latest investigations into suspected anti-competitive agreements for pharmaceutical drugs are as follows:

“Drug companies that break competition law risk forcing the NHS, and UK taxpayers, to pay over the odds for important medical treatments.

We’ve provisionally found that suppliers of this important antibiotic entered into arrangements with the aim of keeping Nitrofurantoin prices artificially high, meaning the NHS wouldn’t benefit from the lower prices that come from effective competition.”

The content of this post/page was considered accurate at the time of the original posting and/or at the time of any posted revision. The content of this page may, therefore, be out of date. The information contained within this page does not constitute legal advice. Any reliance you place on the information contained within this page is done so at your own risk.

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