Maverick Advocaten in NRC on €19,5 million ACM-fine for Leadiant

Diederik Schrijvershof has been asked by the Dutch newspaper NRC to comment on the ACM’s fine of €19,5 million for Italian pharmaceutical Leadiant. Leadiant allegedly raised the price of the drug (CDCA) with a factor of 500, which qualifies as abuse of a dominant position according to the ACM. The price Leadiant charged for CDCA was according to the ACM exorbitantly high and unfair. Exorbitantly high because the price combined with the low costs and low risks resulted in an excessive return for Leadiant. And unfair because the drug had already been on the market under a different name for much longer and at a much lower price, while patients benefitted only very little from the orphan drug registration, the ACM said.

NRC writes the following:

“Similar cases have been seen abroad, says lawyer Diederik Schrijvershof of law firm Maverick Advocaten. “In 2018, pharmaceutical CD Pharma was found guilty of abuse of a dominant position by the Danish competition authority after it raised the price of a drug by two thousand percent.”

“The lawyer points out that it is not always easy for a competition authority to uphold fine decisions on drug prices in court. “In 2016, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority imposed millions in fines on pharmaceuticals Pfizer and Flynn for excessive pricing of an epilepsy drug. But in March 2020, the CMA was overruled in an appeal against those fines.”

The ACM’s decision regarding the fine for Leadiant has not yet been published. For the ACM’s summary of the decision, see here. More information on the developments in competition law and pharmaceutical markets and medical devices, see here, here and here.

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Diederik Schrijvershof

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