The EU Commission imposes a €60 million fine against two companies in the pharmaceutical sector for abuse of dominant position (AstraZeneca)

ASTRAZENECA: THE FIRST ABUSE CASE IN THE PHARMACEUTICAL SECTOR* 1. Introduction On 15 June 2005 the Commission adopted a decision (‘Decision’) fining the Swedish company AstraZeneca AB and the UK company Astra-Zeneca Plc (together ‘AZ‘) 60 million euros due to their infringements of Article 82 of the EC Treaty and Article 54 of the EEA Agreement. The infringements involve misuses by AZ of public procedures and regulations in a number of EEA states aimed at excluding generic firms and parallel traders from competing against AZ‘s anti-ulcer product Losec. In 1979, Astra AB (currently AstraZeneca AB), a Swedish research based company, had filed patent applications in Europe in respect of omeprazole (the active substance in Losec). Losec’s basic patent protection therefore by and large

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