Pfizer's decision to start supplying its products to retail pharmacies directly rather than through wholesalers has caused the wholesalers which have been selling its drugs in the past to make a complaint to the OFT. Eight wholesalers are arguing that the measure constitutes a breach of competition law and have requested that the watchdog take interim measures to prevent the new arrangements from being implemented on the scheduled date of March 2007. When the OFT indicated that it was not willing to order interim measures the complainants went to the High Court seeking an injunction. Last week the High Court ruled that is was not minded to grant an interim injunction. In its ruling, which did not deal with the substantive competition law pleadings, the court criticised the applicants for their delay in bringing the matter before it, holding that a fair decision could not be taken in such a tight time scale. The case illustrates the difficulties that complainants will face when choosing a forum for their grievances. In the present case the complainants may have had a better chance if they had applied for an interim injunction at the court at the same time as they approached the OFT.
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