Overview

Peter L’Ecluse focuses on life sciences, competition law and intellectual property (IP) rights.

Life Sciences

Peter’s expertise encompasses a wide range of areas, including registration, pricing and reimbursement matters, advertising issues and all aspects of competition law. He has successfully represented clients before civil courts, as well as Belgium’s administrative court, the Council of State, in challenging reimbursement decisions and rules imposing prescription requirements on physicians.    

Competition Law

Peter has been involved in most of the significant cases arising before the Belgian competition authorities and the courts. His expertise in this area extends to merger control, cartels, dominant market positions and procedural issues. Peter has broad experience in the telecommunications, life sciences, energy and fast moving consumer goods sectors.

Peter has handled such significant cases as Eco Swiss – Benetton (on arbitration and competition law) and ITT Promedia (involving the interplay between anticompetitive regulation and abusive conduct) before the European Commission and the European Courts. 

IP Rights

Peter’s patent litigation practice focuses on the life sciences industry. For several years, he has acted as co-counsel for one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, handling multi-jurisdictional patent litigation while defending valuable patents covering various active substances against generic competitors. Peter also acted as co-counsel in proceedings before the European Patent Office and the Belgian courts for a major medical devices company in patent litigation which covered three jurisdictions. He often advises on supplementary protection certificate patent extension issues and assists clients in dealing with counterfeit trade in pharmaceuticals.

Languages

Dutch, English, French

Recommendations

  • Chambers Europe – Competition: Domestic
  • Chambers Europe for Intellectual Property
  • Chambers Europe – ‘Leaders In Their Field’ (Competition: Domestic)
  • Chambers Europe – ‘Leaders In Their Field’ (Intellectual Property) 
  • IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners
  • Managing Intellectual Property – IP Star
  • LMG Life Sciences (Europe) – Life Sciences Star 
  • PLC for Belgium Life Sciences – Regulatory
  • PLC for Belgium Life Sciences – Intellectual Property
  • PLC for Europe Life Sciences – Competition/Anti-trust
  • PLC for Belgian Competition Law/Anti-trust
  • PLC for Belgium Dispute Resolution
  • International Who’s Who Legal for Life Sciences
  • Legal 500 for Intellectual Property
  • Legal 500 for Dispute Resolution 
  • Legal 500 for EU Regulatory – Pharma and Biotech
  • European Legal Experts for Intellectual Property
  • World IP Review – WIPR Leader

Education

  • The George Washington University, Washington DC, Master of Comparative Law, 1987
  • University of Leuven, Master of Laws, 1986
  • University of Leuven, Baccalaureus of Philosophy, 1985

Publications

Widely published on issues involving life sciences and competition law.

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

Contributor to “Private Antitrust Litigation” (European Lawyer Reference/Thomson Reuters, 2013).

Contributor to Van Bael & Bellis, Competition Law of the European Community (fifth edition, Kluwer, 2010), the standard work of reference in the field of EU competition law.

Events

Frequent speaker on life science issues

Professional Activities

Former member of the bar council of the Dutch-language bar of Brussels

Bar Admission

Brussels
Former member of the Bar Council of Dutch language lawyers (Brussels)

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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