Article originally published in Journal of European Competition Law & Practice Advance Access on July 31, 2012
This survey article discusses the major EU competition law developments in the pharmaceutical sector from 1 July 2011 through 30 June 2012. The developments during this period were largely incremental, but presage what is likely to be a year of increased enforcement activity. The Advocate General’s opinion in AstraZeneca may well be the harbinger of a Court of Justice judgment that upholds the General Court’s judgment and, thus, provides the European Commission with a favourable precedent that will undoubtedly encourage its enforcement efforts. The Commission continues to investigate cases dealing with reverse-payment patent settlements, and the coming months could well see a step up in activity in these cases. Recently, the Commission has indicated a renewed interest in parallel trade, particularly dual pricing arrangements in Spain, which may signal a greater focus on vertical issues more generally, an area where the Commission has been criticized for largely leaving the field to the national competition authorities and courts in recent years.
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