26 June 2015

AGCM accepts remedies to solve competition issues in co-marketing agreement in the pharma sector

The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) has recently made binding the remedy package proposed by the companies Novartis Farma S.p.A. and Italfarmaco S.p.A, in order to solve the competition issues arising from their alleged collusive behaviour in the tumour treatment market.

The investigation was originally launched by the AGCM to verify the existence of a possible anti-competitive arrangement made within the tender procedures issued by three Italian regions for the supply of a drug based on octreotide (which is used to treat growth hormone producing tumours and is an active principle employed in tumour treatment).  In August 2014, the AGCM decided to extend the object of the investigation to the co-marketing agreement between Novartis Farma SpA and Italfarmaco S.p.A. for the marketing of various types of drugs based on the same active principle.  Pursuant to the AGMC’s assessment, the contract appeared not only to limit competition between the parties but, also, to delay the independent entry of Italfarmaco into the domestic market of somatostatin, another active principle having similar effects to the octreotide-based ones.

In response to the competition issues raised by the AGCM, the companies involved have offered joint commitments to revise the co-marketing agreement with reference to the problems identified in the decision extending the object of the proceedings.  The AGCM considered those commitments to be sufficient to close the investigation.

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