Mélanie Thill-Tayara - keynote address
The pharmaceutical sector has always been the subject of considerable vigilance on the part of the competition authorities, but the European news over the last 12 to 18 months has been particularly rich in decisions and rulings relating to this sector. While the first cases mainly concerned the behaviour of pharmaceutical companies aimed at delaying or making it more difficult for generics to penetrate the market, the competition authorities are now tackling new issues, concerning intellectual property rights and their relationship with competition law on the one hand, and regulatory issues (e.g. price negotiations) on the other, which is the natural sphere of competence of health authorities.
With regard, firstly, to the relationship between intellectual property rights and competition law, the European Commission’s analysis of "pay for delay" agreements, validated by the Court of First Instance in its recent Lundbeck ruling, has given rise to lively debate and questions from laboratories.