On May 20, 2021 there was a major ransomware attack on the Irish health system.  The centralized HSE (Health Service Executive) which provides and manages healthcare for the Irish population was targeted on May 14, and has seen significant disruption since.  It has described the attack as a ‘zero-day threat with a brand new variant of the Conti ransomware.’
Continue Reading Major Cyber-Attack on Irish Health System Causes Commercial Concern

The fight against bid-rigging (i.e. collusion in public tenders) has become a major enforcement priority for national competition authorities.  Companies in the life sciences sector are increasingly targeted by bid-rigging investigations.[1] This development is promoted by the OECDICN and UNCTAD, which have done much work to sensitize competition and procurement officials about the harm caused by bid-rigging.  In February 2013, a WTO working paper warned that “bid rigging can raise the price paid by governments for goods and services in the order of 20-30%”.[2]  In a similar vein, the OECD emphasizes the need to contain public spending on healthcare, which has risen by over 70% per capita since the early 1990s and absorbed on average over 9% of GDP in 2010.[3]  In this context, national authorities consider competition enforcement against bid-rigging as a tool to achieve value for money in healthcare public tenders.

Examples of national cases in 2008-2012
Continue Reading Combatting Bid-Rigging in Healthcare Markets: Increased Enforcement Activity