The European Commission announced yesterday that it has launched a formal investigation into Aspen Pharma’s pricing of five cancer drugs. The Commission will investigate whether Aspen Pharma abused a dominant position, in breach of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), by imposing significant price increases for the drugs in question. The Commission will also investigate allegations that Aspen Pharma threatened to (or did) withdraw the drugs in some EU Member States.
Cases alleging unfair – or excessive – pricing are notoriously complex, and the Commission’s investigation of Aspen Pharma may cause it to have to play the role of an unofficial price regulator (in addition to the Member State authorities that have primary responsibility for drug procurement in the EU).
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