EU: EC to investigate drug maker for alleged price gouging

Aspen Pharmacare faces a European Union antitrust probe for ramping up the price of cancer drugs as the EU joins a global crackdown on the soaring cost of life-saving generic medicines.

“When the price of a drug suddenly goes up by several hundred percent, this is something the commission may look at,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in an emailed statement on Monday.

The EU’s first investigation into so-called excessive pricing of medicines follows Italian and British action against pharmaceutical price increases. US officials have been looking at pricing of generic medicines for more than two years, triggering civil lawsuits from customers who say they were overcharged. The EU can impose fines of as much as 10 percent of a company’s yearly revenue.

More than a dozen generic cancer treatments have seen their prices more than double between 2011 and 2016 in the UK, even as the country’s National Health Service took aim at expensive new targeted tumor drugs. Such cases have up-ended common perception that prices of critical medicines will only fall after patents expire and drugmakers have recouped costs.

Full Content: Europa

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