EC objects generic pharma deal
22 July, 2017
The Commission informed last week the pharmaceutical company Teva that an agreement concluded with Cephalon was in breach of EU antitrust rules, the EU press service reported. Under the agreement, Teva committed not to market a cheaper generic version of Cephalon's drug for sleep disorders, modafinil.
“Market entry and competition by generic drugs is an essential element to improve the affordability of healthcare. In this case, our preliminary finding is that Teva and Cephalon broke EU antitrust rules by agreeing on Cephalon paying Teva to keep its cheaper generic version out of the market,” Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.
Modafinil was a blockbuster drug used to treat sleep disorders. Cephalon owned the patents for the drug and its manufacture. After certain Cephalon patents expired in the European Economic Area, Teva entered the UK market for a short period of time with a cheaper generic product.
Following a lawsuit, the companies settled their litigation in the UK and the US with an agreement valid worldwide. But the Commission's Statement of Objections alleges that the patent settlement agreement between Cephalon and Teva may have caused substantial harm to EU patients and health service budgets.