Spanish antitrust agency fines US pharmaceutical company 39 million euros for market abuse – JURIST

Spanish antitrust agency Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Compentencia (CNMC) on Tuesday a fine The American pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) 39 million euros for market abuse. The agency says MSD filed a wrongful lawsuit against its Spanish competitor Insud Phrama under the false pretense of protecting its patent. According to the CNMC, MSD wanted to unfairly delay the market entry of its Spanish competitor’s product.

From 2002 to 2018, MSD had a monopoly on contraceptive devices in Spain. Insud Pharma launched a competing contraceptive in 2017 and MSD alleged patent infringement. MSD has sought an injunction from the Spanish courts to prevent Insud Pharma from selling its competing contraceptive. The lawsuit led to a halt in the marketing and marketing of the contraceptive from Insud Pharma for more than 3 months.

The CNMC concluded that MSD’s lawsuit was part of a plan to suppress competition from Insud Pharma for as long as possible, citing the lack of transparency and factual evidence of MSD’s allegations in its lawsuit. The agency wrote: “The CNMC considers that the lack of transparency of MSD’s behavior is contrary to merit-based competition, because each dominant company has a special responsibility not to hinder, by its behavior, the development of effective and undistorted competition in the common market. market.”

The CNMC declared MSD and its parent company, MSD Human Health Holding, jointly and severally liable for payment of the fine.