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Parliamentary questions
6 February 2017
E-000841-17
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Macular degeneration — Illegal practices of pharmaceutical companies
 Answer(s) 

On 17 March 2014, the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) sent a letter to the Commissioner for Competition, Mr Almunia, in view of the investigations in Italy and France and the fines imposed on Novartis and Roche pharmaceutical companies, asking for similar investigations at EU level, as per Article 101 of TFEU.

Meanwhile, similar reports, complaints, and studies have been made in Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, which also conclude that the companies cooperated to promote a specific drug (Lucentis) against another (Avastin), which is 40 times cheaper; this burdens the cost of social insurance by hundreds of millions of euros per year.

Given Mr Almunia’s answer to P-002767/2014 that the Commission is gathering more information and will assess whether further action is needed:

What are the findings of the Commission’s investigation, and how is the Commission urging Member States to act?

Is the Commission aware whether any government, competition committee, or another authority in Greece, a country with a great number of AMD patients (50 000) compared to its population and a ‘bankrupt’ insurance system, is going to launch an investigation into the above companies on corresponding illegal practices? Has the cost borne by the Greek State and private individuals been calculated?

Original language of question: EL 
Last updated: 27 February 2017Legal notice