Hot on the heels of the pharmaceutical sector inquiry in 2009 and the formal proceedings opened against Lundbeck, the European Commission revealed that it sent requests to a number of large pharmaceutical companies for copies of recent patent settlement agreements. The Commission is keen to identify patent settlements where originator companies have paid off a generic competitor in order to delay the market entry of a generic drug. The current inquiry is focused on agreements signed between 1 July 2008 and 31 December 2009. Following receipt and scrutiny of responses, the Commission says it plans to publish a short report. It has also indicated that, depending on the results of its inquiry, it may carry out regular monitoring exercises of this nature as a means of putting pressure on originator companies.