The European General Court (GC) has issued a judgment on Sep 08, 2016, confirming that “pay for delay” agreements in the pharmaceuticals sector constitute serious infringements of EU competition law. European General Court dismissed Lundbeck’s appeal against the European Commission (“EC”)’s decision to fine it – and a number of generic companies – for delaying market entry of generic versions of Lundbeck’s anti-depressant citalopram product.
The European Commission adopted an infringement decision in June 2013, imposing fines totalling €146 million (including €93.8 million on Lundbeck) for infringement of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Lundbeck and the generic companies appealed the decision and the General Court has upheld the Commission’s decision and the fines in full.
This isthe first European Court judgment that confirms the Commission’s position that “pay for delay” agreements infringe EU competition law. Further appeals are also pending with the General Court concerning similar types of agreements involving Servier and five generics competitors and delayed generic entry of perindopril (a cardio-vascular medicine), following a Commission decision of 2014.
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