As the medicines sector is experiencing significant regulatory and economic changes, the Autorité de la concurrence has launched a sector inquiry to analyse how competition operates throughout the medicinal products distribution chain.
The support of the authorities to generic medicines and the opening up of online sales for medicinal products stand among the factors that ought to favour an increase in competition in the medicines distribution sector.
It is in this context that the Autorité de la concurrence has decided to launch a sector inquiry to check that these new opportunities benefit everyone, in the form of price reductions, increased services and innovation. For this purpose, it will inquire into the entire distribution chain for medicines – pharmaceutical laboratories, wholesale distributors and pharmacists.
From the point of view of pharmaceutical laboratories
Even though the price of medicines reimbursed by Social Security is regulated, prices are also fixed for medicines that are not reimbursed. In this regard, the Autorité will study the relationship between pharmaceutical laboratories on the one hand and wholesale distributors and dispensing pharmacists on the other, in terms of price-setting for medicinal products, rebates, etc.
In this context, the Autorité de la concurrence intends to research the conditions necessary to enable everyone to get the most benefit from the developments expected from online sales.
Public consultation in the summer
After an initial thorough investigation, the Autorité de la concurrence will submit the first conclusions of its investigation in the summer. All those involved in the sector will be asked for their reactions and observations before the Autorité delivers its final opinion, which may be accompanied by recommendations, at the end of the year.
> Full text of Decision 13-SOA-01 of 25 February 2013 relating to the self-referral for an opinion on the pharmaceutical distribution sector
> Press contact: André Piérard – Tel.: (+33) 1 55 04 02 28 / Contact by email
Within the framework of this sector inquiry, the Autorité de la concurrence launched a public consultation on 10 July and invites all interested parties to comment on the developments and conclusions laid out in the public consultation document.
> See the document issued for public consultation