Drug maker is fined for inflating prices, thanks to BEUC’s Italian member

BEUC NEWS - 21.10.2016

Last week Friday, the Italian Antitrust Authority fined the multinational company Aspen Pharma 5 million euros. Aspen had threatened the Italian Medicines Agency to stop the supply of vital anti-cancer medicines to the Italian market if they refused to increase the drugs’ price. The Italian decision pays tribute to Altroconsumo, our Italian member who launched the case last year.

 

As a result of Aspen’s unjustified practices, the anti-cancer drugs temporarily disappeared from the market and reappeared with a price increase of up to 1,500%. Being the only supplier of this type of drugs, Aspen Pharma abused its position.

While medicine shortages have become commonplace in the EU, such unacceptable behaviour is harming consumers even further. Our concerns have been echoed in the press. We have also urged the EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager to investigate potential similar practices across Europe.

More information on access to medicines in our position paper and factsheet