Aspen (off-patient cancer medicines) (AT.40394)
Aspen (off-patient cancer medicines) (AT.40394)

The following Competition practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Aspen (off-patient cancer medicines) (AT.40394)
  • Case facts
  • Timeline
  • Commentary

CASE HUB

See further, timeline and commentary.

Case facts

OutlineEuropean Commission Article 102 TFEU investigation into Aspen concerning whether it has been abusing its dominant position in numerous national markets by charging excessive prices in relation to the supply of off-patient cancer medicines (AT.40394).

Latest developmentOn 14 July 2020, the Commission announced it consulting on commitments offered by Aspen to address the Commission's concerns over excessive pricing. Aspen proposes to reduce its prices in Europe for six critical cancer medicines by 73% on average. In addition, Aspen proposes to ensure the continued supply of these off-patent medicines for a significant period.

PartiesAspen is a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Durban, South Africa. Aspen has several subsidiaries in the EEA.

BackgroundOpening of formal investigation

On 15 May 2020, the Commission announced it had opened a formal investigation into Aspen.

The investigation concerns Aspen's pricing practices for niche medicines containing the active pharmaceutical ingredients chlorambucil, melphalan, mercaptopurine, tioguanine and busulfan. These medicines are used for treating cancer, such as hematologic tumours. They are sold with different formulations and under multiple brand names. Aspen acquired these medicines after their patent protection had expired.

Proposed commitments

On14 July 2020, the Commission announced it is consulting on commitments offered by Aspen to address the Commission's concerns over excessive pricing.

Market(s)Supply of critical off-patient cancer medicines.

IssuesThe Commission has

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