Prescription Before Diagnosis? The European Commission's Sector Inquiry into the Pharmaceutical Industry

On January 16, 2008, the European Commission announced that it had opened a sector inquiry into competition in the pharmaceuticals industry. The Commission began this inquiry by conducting dawn raids at the premises of a number of innovative and generic pharmaceutical companies with significant commercial activities in Europe. The Commission has made it clear that it has a particular interest in patent dispute settlements and the creation of artificial barriers to entry through the misuse of patent rights. One of the chief concerns of the Commission is to identify whether the alleged lack of generic entry in the European Union could be caused by some distortions to the competition rules.

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