In this Chronicle we turn to the timely issue of healthcare and competition.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare industry, in all its facets, including the development of pharmaceuticals, the provision of healthcare, and health insurance, has never been as vital. Antitrust rules have a key role to play to ensure that drug companies continue to innovate, vital care is provided to the public, and, above all, that patients receive the care they need.
The articles in this volume address the key issues relevant to antitrust and healthcare around the world. Notably, in present circumstances, antitrust rules must be sufficiently flexible to allow collaboration between erstwhile competitors to rapidly develop new therapies, while not undermining the competitive process. Patients must reap the benefits of generic drugs, while not undermining the incentives of pharmaceutical companies to innovate. Physicians must be incentivized to develop and grow medical practices, and to protect patient-specific investments, but without overly hindering competition through non-compete agreements. And patients must be protected from price gouging in times of unprecedented demand.
These issues have long been subject to antitrust scrutiny, but their importance, and the delicate balancing acts they entail, have never been more vital. The contributions to this edition of the Chronicle draw on the authors’ wealth of experience and insight in this field from jurisdictions around the world.
As always, thank you to our great panel of authors.