As a follow-up to its
July 2009 pharmaceutical sector inquiry final report, the European
Commission announced on Jan. 12, 2010, that it has sent requests to a number of
originator and generic pharmaceutical companies for copies of their patent
The requests relate to agreements affecting the EU/EEA concluded between July
2008 and December 2009. The commission particularly voiced concerns about
settlement agreements in its July 2009 report, and indicated at that time that
it would subject such agreements to "further focused monitoring" under
competition law. The commission has therefore followed this through.
It is also notable that following the inquiry, the European Commission has launched specific
competition law investigations of individual companies, most recently into
alleged activities of Lundbeck which the commission is concerned may hinder the
entry of generic versions of citalopram into the EEA.
McGuireWoods’ Brussels and London offices advise on all aspects of EU
competition law. Full coverage of national competition law throughout Europe is
also provided by both offices, as well as through a network of strong
relationships with correspondent law firms. We have extensive experience with
merger control, cartels, trading agreements and practices, including abuse of
dominance and distribution, and state aid. Our lawyers regularly represent
clients before the European Commission and national regulators in the EU, across
the range of competition law matters.