Statement by Joaquín Almunia, on Johnson & Johnson and Novartis fined by the Commission to € 16 million for delaying market entry of generic painkiller fentanyl
End production: 10/12/2013 First transmission: 10/12/2013
On 10 December 2013, Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition, made a statement on the adoption by the European Commission of a decision against two pharmaceutical companies, Johnson & Johnson and Novartis, and the imposition of fines totalling 16 million euros. These companies entered into an anti-competitive agreement to delay the market entry of a generic version of the pain-killer Fentanyl.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Soundbite by Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition, (in ENGLISH): Today we adopted a decision imposing a fine of 16 million Euro to two pharmaceutical companies one originator Johnson & Johnson and one generic company Novartis Sandoz because the first Johnson & Johnson paid an amount of money to the generic company Novartis Sandoz not to enter into the market with the drug a pain-killer called Fentanyl. So they were supposed to have a "co-promotion agreement" but in fact the payments from Johnson & Johnson to Novartis had the only purpose to avoid the generic drug to enter into the market, so they postponed their generic drug.
||Soundbite by Joaquín Almunia (in ENGLISH): We have investigated this and today we have imposed this fine. These payments in order to delay the entry of the generics into the market is a very serious infringement. We are determined to continue fighting against such an agreement.
||Soundbite by Joaquín Almunia (in ENGLISH): We launched the sector inquiries some years ago. From this inquiry we discovered certain types of agreements between originator and generic company that are against competition rules. We adopted few months ago a decision against a Danish Pharmaceutical company Lundbeck, another company that were through other means using a pattern in the protection they were also avoiding the entry of generic drugs into the market. This is the second decision of this kind and we are investigating other cases, we are determined to avoid these agreements. These agreements have the only purpose to increase the profit of some pharmaceutical companies and their consequences are very negative because the patients should pay much higher prices for the drugs they need. So we are investigating these new cases and also we are conducting every year a survey to avoid that these settlements, this kind of agreements will continue to create problems for the patients of their uses of drugs.
||Cutaways of Joaquín Almunia in his office (6 shots)