On 3 February 2017, the SCA has initiated proceedings against Aspen Pharma Ireland Ltd, Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited and Aspen Pharma Trading Limited (Aspen) for possible abusive practices consisting on a refusal to supply certain pharmaceuticals and for excessive prices. The SCA also investigates Deco Pharma S.L., Aspen’s distributor in Spain, for a possible agreement to limit distribution, causing a shortage of the affected drugs.

This investigation has been initiated ex officio by the SCA after being informed by the Italian Competition Authority of these possible restrictive practices.

This may be part of a wider trend in Europe. In February 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority of the United Kingdom (CMA) fined GlaxoSmithKline and other generics manufacturers more than €48 million over the sale of paroxetine, an antidepressant. On 7 December 2016, the CMA fined Pfizer a record €99 million for excessive pricing of an epilepsy drug. The CMA also fined the distributor of the drug Flynn Pharma € 6.1 million. During the same month, the CMA sent to Actavis a statement of objections setting out its concerns regarding excessive pricing of hydrocortisone tablets.