Spain’s antitrust authority is starting an investigation into the pricing practices of six drugmakers after a tribunal ruled that the agency could continue with the proceedings.
Spain’s National Market and Competition Commission is examining whether the drugmakers — Pfizer SLU, Merck Sharp & Dohme de España, Novartis Farmacéutica, Lilly, Sanofi-Aventis and Janssen-Cilag — used dual-price systems that violated the country’s anti-competitive laws.
According to CNMC, the companies might have implemented — or tried to implement — a distribution systems that set prices at different levels for the same drugs. The agency also said the companies might have colluded to establish distributions with dual-price systems. In 2007, the European Association of Euro Pharmaceutical Companies alerted CNMC to the misconduct, but the agency decided not to pursue an investigation after finding no indications of antitrust violations. The CNMC investigation could last 18 months and result in fines for the companies.