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Parliamentary questions
24 February 2017
E-008535/2016
Answer given by Ms Vestager on behalf of the Commission

It is the Commission's task in general to monitor economic sectors, including the pharmaceutical sector, for anti-competitive practices. In line with this task, possible abuses of a dominant position by an undertaking in the pharmaceuticals sector fall within the Commission's remit to intervene under Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

In particular, the Commission has been cooperating closely with national competition authorities regarding various recent national investigations into excessive prices for medicines. In this regard, the Commission has supported the decision recently taken by the Italian competition authority against Aspen Pharma.

However, any possible investigation by the Commission would necessarily have to be done on a case-by-case basis considering all relevant facts and circumstances. In addition, consideration would have to be given to the fact that pricing and reimbursement in the pharmaceutical sector are highly regulated by Member States.

Moreover, public spending accounts for most of the expenditures on medicinal products in the Union. Such prima facie elements nuance the merits of a possible investigation by the Commission into the matters referred to by the Honourable Members.

Last updated: 6 March 2017Legal notice