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Parliamentary questions
20 April 2017
Answer given by Ms Vestager on behalf of the Commission

The Commission continues to monitor the developments with respect to competition aspects surrounding the off-label use of Avastin for treatment of the age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It also remains in close contact with other National Competition Authorities that are looking into the issue, notably in the context of the regular meetings of the European Competition Network's Pharma and Health Services Subgroup where confidential investigative work by the various competition authorities is discussed.

In addition, the Commission has lodged its observations on a preliminary ruling case before the European Court of Justice prompted by a reference from the Italian State Council in the litigation between Hoffman-La Roche and Novartis against the Italian competition authority's decision of 27 February 2014.

However, as indicated in the Commission's answer to Written Question P-002767/2014, the off-label use of pharmaceuticals is also factually and legally closely related to the respective national regulatory framework that deals with the question on how medication is ultimately used.

In this respect, the Commission refers to the decision of 24 February 2017 by the highest French administrative court to uphold a policy allowing the off-label use of Avastin for treatment of AMD.

Last updated: 2 May 2017Legal notice