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GSK appeals UK pay-for-delay fine Posted 27/05/2016

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is appealing a GBP 37.6 million fine from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over pay-for-delay allegations.

The CMA fined GSK in February 2016 for anticompetitive conduct and agreements in relation to the supply of paroxetine. The case concerns agreements made between 2001 and 2004 in which GSK, the supplier of the brand-name antidepressant drug Seroxat (paroxetine), agreed to make payments and other value transfers totalling over GBP 50 million to suppliers of paroxetine generics [1].

The CMA believes that GSK’s conduct restricted competition and delayed generics competition, costing the UK’s National Health Service GBP 90 million in 2001 alone [1]. GSK, however, is contending this decision, saying that the GSK contends that ‘the CMA erred in finding that GSK held a dominant position because it incorrectly defined the relevant product market as the market in a single molecule (paroxetine)’, and adding that the company’s conduct was ‘objectively justified’.

The generics companies involved include Alpharma, Generics (UK) (GUK) and Norton Healthcare, which was trading as Ivax Pharmaceuticals UK at the time.

GSK argues that ‘the CMA erred in finding that GSK’s conduct had the likely effect of restricting competition’ and contends that ‘the CMA erred in imposing any fine on GSK’. The drugmaker then requests that the Competition Appeal Tribunal set aside the decisions made by the CMA or, alternatively, annul or substantially reduce the fine imposed and order the CMA to pay the costs incurred by GSK in this appeal.

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1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. UK’s competition authority fines GSK for pay-for-delay [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2016 May 27]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Policies-Legislation/UK-s-competition-authority-fines-GSK-for-pay-for-delay

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Source: UK Competition Appeal Tribunal

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