Recent developments in pharma antitrust

The authors of this On-Topic focus on the latest developments in the pharmaceutical sector. According to Ms Thill-Tayara, author of the first contribution and lawyer with Dechert Paris, if the competition agencies’ activism is partly motivated by the need to limit the expenses of national health insurances systems, this has led competition authorities to use and enforce legal concepts which may seem difficult to implement in such a specific sector. In the second article, Mr. De Coninck, economist at CRA Bruxelles, highlights the main conceptual difficulties with excessive pricing cases, and argues that such cases should be limited to truly exceptional circumstances. He discusses the numerous practical difficulties in determining whether a price can be considered as excessive, and the main pitfalls to avoid. Ms Alessandra Tonazzi, the last contribution’s author, and member of the Italian Competition Authority, focuses on the investigation by the Italian Competition Authority, concluded with an infringement decision in September 2016, into the prices charged by Aspen for a number of cancer drugs. She stresses that the Aspen case shows some of the features that many economists and lawyers would recognize as justifying an antitrust intervention.

Développements récents en Europe en droit de la concurrence appliqué au secteur pharmaceutique Mélanie Thill-Tayara Associée en charge de la pratique concurrence, Dechert, Paris 1. Si le secteur pharmaceutique a toujours fait l’objet d’une vigilance de la part des autorités de concurrence, l’actualité européenne de ces dix-huit derniers mois a été particulièrement riche en enseignements [1]. On constate en effet une volonté manifeste des autorités de concurrence d’intervenir sur de nouvelles problématiques, dont certaines paraissaient jusqu’ici en dehors de leur sphère de compétence naturelle, car concernant le prix des produits pharmaceutiques (I.), la validité des brevets (II.) ou encore les débats scientifiques que peuvent susciter certains médicaments (III.). 2. Si l’on manque

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