The Spanish Competition Authority imposes sanctions on a pharmaceutical company for misusing litigation strategies regarding patents (Merck Sharp & Dohme)

On 21 October 2022, the Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) imposed a €38.9 million fine on pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) for abusing its dominant position in the Spanish market for contraceptive vaginal rings. In particular, the CNMC concluded that MSD conducted a litigation strategy against Insud Pharma, a competing company, which delayed the entry of competing product “Ornibel” into the Spanish market. The CNMC’s decision shows competition authorities’ increasing interest in the pharmaceutical sector and, specifically, in the misuse of litigation strategies by pharma companies with the aim of delaying the entry of generics into the market. The infringing conduct: unjustified legal actions MSD is a pharmaceutical company that held the

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