South African pharmaceutical company Aspen has offered to cut prices for six off-patent cancer medicines to address concerns about excessive pricing, EU antitrust regulators stated on Tuesday, July 14.
“The proposed commitments aim at bringing to an end Aspen’s suspected excessive pricing conduct with respect to its six off-patent cancer medicines, which the Commission suspects to constitute an abuse of a dominant position,” the European Commission said in a statement.
The EU competition enforcer, which opened an investigation into Aspen in 2017, stated it would now seek feedback from interested parties before deciding whether to accept the company’s offer.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said, “Pharmaceutical companies often bring innovative medicines to the market and they should be rewarded for that. However, they sometimes also use their dominant position to increase prices of old but critical medicines by several hundred percent without any real justification. The Commission has concerns that Aspen’s conduct in this case amounts to excessive pricing by a dominant firm, which is prohibited by EU competition rules. To remove these concerns Aspen proposes to radically reduce its prices and to guarantee the supply of six critical cancer medicines. We now reach out to the stakeholders to hear their views on whether the commitments adequately address our concerns and benefit patients and health budgets across Europe.”