EU launches antitrust probe against Danish drug maker Lundbeck

07:46, January 08, 2010      

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The European Commission on Thursday launched an antitrust probe against Danish drug maker Lundbeck, alleging the company hindered the sale of a generic version of its antidepressant drug in Europe.

"The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation into the international pharmaceutical undertaking Lundbeck to examine potential breaches of EU rules on restrictive business practices and on the abuse of a dominant market position," the European Union (EU) antitrust watchdog said in a statement.

It said the investigation would be centered on alleged unilateral behavior and agreements by Lundbeck which might hinder the entry of generic citalopram into European markets.

Citalopram, originally developed by Lundbeck, is an anti-depressant drug known as a selective seroton in reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Lundbeck's exclusive right to the drug ran out in 2003, but it was accused of reaching deals with other pharmaceutical companies to obstruct the entry of a cheaper generic version of the drug into the market.

The commission said the investigation should be dealt with as a matter of priority and was separate from its ongoing inquiry into competition in the pharmaceutical sector.

Source: Xinhua
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