The Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation into the international pharmaceutical undertaking Lundbeck to examine potential breaches of EU rules on restrictive business practices and on the abuse of a dominant market position under Articles 101 and 102 of the TFEU. The Commission in particular intends to investigate unilateral behaviour and agreements by Lundbeck which may hinder the entry of generic citalopram into markets in the EEA. Citalopram, originally developed by Lundbeck, is an anti-depressant drug known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (“SSRI”).
The knowledge acquired during the pharmaceutical sector inquiry, specifically on ways originator companies use to obstruct the entry of generic drugs onto the market, has allowed the Commission to draw conclusions on where Commission action based on competition law could be appropriate and effective. The Commission has decided that the investigation focusing on Lundbeck's conduct should be dealt with as a matter of priority, and as a result has opened proceedings. These proceedings are separate from the sector inquiry.
Opening of proceedings does not mean that the Commission has proof of the infringements but merely means that the Commission will investigate the case as a matter of priority.
IP/10/8 – 7 January 2010