EC issues “pay-for-delay” fines to nine generic drugmakers
The European Commission is to fine nine generic drug companies for limiting the supply of cheaper medicines, it’s been announced. This is the regulatory body’s first fine against “pay-for-delay” deals, following an inquiry that began back in 2009.
The nine companies include India’s number one pharmaceutical company Ranbaxy, and Denmark’s Lundbeck, as well as Generics UK, Arrow, Resolution Chemicals, Xellia Pharmaceuticals, A.L. Industrier and Alpharma. Germany’s Merck KGaA received a “lesser” fine earlier this month.
“Pay-for-delay” deals involve brand-name pharma companies paying generic drugmakers not to deliver cheaper versions of their drugs to the market. European regulators estimate that in some cases, this means consumers are paying up to 20% more. Brand-name companies have defended these deals, in order to keep patent protection and avoid expensive litigation.
The European Commission can fine a company up to 10% of its global revenue for breaching competition laws. However, the specific fines given to each of the nine companies have not been revealed.
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