EU Forces South African Pharma Co To Slash Cancer Drug Prices

The European Commission said Wednesday it had forced South African drugs giant Aspen to slash prices on six cancer drugs after finding it abused its market dominance to hike charges.

The firm agreed to cut the cost of the medicines, used for the treatment of some forms of blood cancer including leukaemia, by some 73 percent inside the EU, after a years-long probe. 

“Aspen’s commitments will save European health systems many dozens of million euros and will ensure that these crucial medicines remain available,” European Commission competition chief Margrethe Vestager said.

“Today’s decision gives a strong signal to other dominant pharmaceutical companies not to engage in abusive pricing practices to exploit our health systems.”

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, launched an investigation back in 2017 after Aspen increased prices of some of its medicines by several hundred percent.

The case was the Commission’s first investigation into allegations of excessive pricing practices in the pharmaceutical industry.

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