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Parliamentary questions
21 February 2018
Answer given by Ms Vestager on behalf of the Commission

In December 2016, the Spanish Ministry of Finance and Public Service and the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality signed an agreement with the pharmaceutical industry.

This agreement is the renewal of a similar agreement signed in November 2015. It caps the growth of Spanish public expenditure on originator medicinal products relative to the evolution of Spanish gross domestic product. This cap constitutes an example of so-called ‘payback/clawback’ policies aimed at preventing deficits in public budgets. Such policies exist in various Member States.

In general, such policies do not impact on various regulatory measures in place to foster the uptake of cheaper generics in the Member States, for example rules on generic substitution by pharmacists, or on prescription, by the common name of a medicinal product's active substance.

Therefore, based on available information, such policies, in themselves, do not seem to raise concerns with regard to EU competition rules.

Last updated: 21 February 2018Legal notice