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Belgian Competition Authority Will Again Focus on Pharmaceuticals in 2019

  • 04/03/2019
  • Articles

On 1 March 2019, the Belgian Competition Authority published its yearly policy note setting out its enforcement priorities for the year (see attachments).

As was the case in previous years, the pharmaceutical sector is one of the BCA’s main targets for action. Once more, the BCA indicates that it deliberately emulates the approach of other national competition authorities in focusing on “all links of the value chain, including prices charged by pharmaceutical firms, competition between distributors with public-service obligations, the competitive dynamics and innovation at the pharmacy level”. Given the pending inquiries in the sector, this announcement again does not come as a surprise. It also reflects the general competition scrutiny of the sector in Europe, as was evidenced by the publication in January 2019 of the Competition Pharmaceutical Enforcement Report by the European Commission (see, Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences Newsflash of 28 January 2019).

In other news relevant to the sector, the BCA also confirms its continued attention to public procurement.

Apart from the pharmaceutical sector, the BCA will target telecommunications, distribution, service providers and logistics. All in all, this year’s enforcement priorities closely resemble those applying in 2018.

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