Overview

Catherine Longeval specialises in litigation before the Belgian courts and advises clients on a wide range of issues, including life sciences law. Her expertise in this area covers laws governing medicines, biotech products, medical devices, cosmetics and food supplements, among other aspects.

She also specialises in unfair market practices, distribution law, product liability, employment law and general commercial law.

Catherine began her professional career in October 1989. Prior to joining Van Bael & Bellis in 1994, she worked as an associate with a leading Brussels law firm. 

She regularly lectures and writes on life sciences regulatory matters and procedural law matters. She often speaks at conferences.

Languages

Dutch, English, French

Recommendations

  • Chambers Global and Chambers Europe for Dispute Resolution
  • Chambers Europe – ‘Leaders In Their Field’ (Dispute Resolution) 
  • Expert Guides – Guide to the World’s Leading Litigation Lawyers
  • PLC for EU Life Sciences – Regulatory
  • PLC for EU Life Sciences – Competition/Anti-trust
  • PLC for Dispute Resolution 
  • PLC for Belgium Life Sciences – Regulatory
  • Legal 500 for Employment law
  • Legal 500 for Dispute Resolution
  • European Legal Experts for Litigation
  • Who’s Who Legal for Life Sciences
  • LMG Life Sciences (Europe) – Life Sciences Star
  • Best Lawyers – Litigation  

Education

  • University of Brussels (ULB), Master of Laws, 1989 
  • University of Leuven, Master of Laws, 1987

Publications

Contributor to Van Bael & Bellis' Business Law Guide to Belgium (Kluwer Law International/Bruylant, 2003).

Co-author of PLC's Life Sciences Handbook, Chambers' Pharmaceutical Advertising Guide, and dispute resolution section of Chambers' Litigation guide. 

Professional Memberships

Member of CEPINA (Belgian Centre for Mediation and Arbitration)
Member of the Brussels Pharma Law Group
Member of the European Employment Lawyers Association
Member of the International Bar Association

Bar Admission

Brussels

Notable assignments

  • Representing a global pharmaceutical company in the context of “extreme urgency” suspension proceedings before the Council of State, aimed at the suspension and annulment of a tender decision of the Office de la Naissance et de l’Enfance (ONE) granted in favour of a competitor of our client.

  • Representing a global logistics company in proceedings initiated by an international organisation and the Belgian State following our client’s attachment of assets in a case which raises complex issues under international and procedural law.

Publications and insights

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    • 14/01/2020
    • Articles

    OECD Makes Recommendations for Improvement of Performance-Based Managed Entry Agreements for Medicines

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) published a health working paper (the “Paper”) authored by Martin Wenzl and Suzannah Chapman that offers recommendations for the use of performance-based managed entry agreements in OECD countries and EU Member States (see, attached). The Paper reflects the results of a review of managed entry agreements (“MEAs”) carried out in 2018 and 2019. MEAs are arrangements between healthcare payers and pharmaceutical firms that provide for the reimbursement of generally new health technologies, including medicines, while controlling the financial impact of that reimbursement and keeping price concessions confidential. These financial agreements are thus tools for achieving patient access to medicines while managing uncertainty. A further group of MEA’s, far less common than these purely financial agreements, are performance-based contracts. Both financial MEA’s and performance-based MEA’s can be assessed either at the level of individual patients or at that of a given population. The Paper indicates that the experience with performance-based MEA’s is both limited and mixed. This is in large part due to the dearth of available information as few countries have formally assessed their experience with performance-based MEA’s. The Paper therefore relies on limited public sources and a number of expert interviews. Only Belgium and Sweden had independent evaluations conducted by third parties. The tentative conclusion of the Paper is that performance-based MEA’s have made only a limited contribution towards reducing uncertainty regarding product performance. This is why the Paper makes recommendations for good practices that make it more likely for performance-based MEA’s to reach their objectives. These are: i. to use performance-based MEA’s strategically and in the wider context of information derived from the use of other instruments such as horizon-scanning; ii. to identify uncertainties and design the performance-based MEA’s to address such uncertainties; iii. to create a governance framework that ensures transparency of process and guarantees that results are actually acted upon; iv. to ensure an appropriate level of transparency of content, even though some parts of the MEA’s, such as prices, may have to remain confidential. The Paper points out that countries could benefit from sharing information but very little information is at present published or shared. Still, the Paper cites approvingly a number of collaborative initiatives of the European Medicines Agency such as the EU-wide framework on patient registries or the European Network of Centres for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacovigilance.

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    • 13/01/2020
    • News

    Brussels Court of Appeal Confirms Infringement of Competition Rules by Professional Organisation of Pharmacists but Directs BCA to Recalculate Fine

    On 8 January 2020 the Market Court of the Brussels Court of Appeal confirmed a finding of the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) that the professional organisation of pharmacists had infringed the competition rules. However, it also directed the BCA to recalculate the fine which is now expected to turn out significantly lower. Please find attached a note on the judgment as well as its text.

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    • 10/01/2020
    • Articles

    MEP Cindy Franssen Raises Important Questions Regarding Medicine Shortages in European Union

    Member of the European Parliament Cindy Franssen submitted to the European Commission (the “Commission”) a series of interesting questions regarding medicine shortages (see, attachment). Broadly, the questions probe for (i) possible violations of Directive 2001/83/EC if pharmaceutical firms “caus[e] shortages [of medicines] on the basis of commercial decisions”; (ii) the measures which the Commission plans to take to tackle shortages; and (iii) the proposals which the Commission intends to put forward in order to enhance local production of medicines. While some of these questions exhibit bias against the pharmaceutical industry, they are likely to prompt important answers from the Commission in relation to (i) the public service obligation associated with supplying medicines as contained in Article 81 of Directive 2001/83/EC; (ii) the initiatives which the Commission will take to address medicine shortages (see, Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences Newsflash of 26 November 2019 and Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences Newsflash of 11 September 2019); and (iii) calls made in various circles to make sure that the production of key pharmaceutical ingredients is moved to Europe (see for example, Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences Newsflash of 9 July 2019).

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