FTC’s Multilateral Pharma Merger Task Force Seeks Public Input

Staff from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Canada’s Competition Bureau, the European Commission Directorate General for Competition, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, and Offices of State Attorneys General have issued a notice seeking public comment to inform their review of how to best update their approaches to analyzing the effects of pharmaceutical mergers.

The agencies announced in March that they have launched a working group, now called the Multilateral Pharmaceutical Merger Task Force, to identify concrete and actionable steps to review and update the analysis of pharmaceutical mergers. This project will ensure that FTC investigations include fresh approaches that fully analyze and address the varied competitive concerns that these mergers and acquisitions raise. It taps expertise from competition authorities with whom the FTC cooperates frequently, as well as others with relevant experience.

“Public input is critical to the process of refreshing our approach pharmaceutical mergers,” said Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Slaughter. “In the face of skyrocketing drug prices and ongoing concerns about anticompetitive conduct by pharmaceutical companies, we need to ensure that our investigations fully capture the potential impact on prices, quality, access, drug supply chain resilience, capital market investment, and innovation for new drugs.”

Task Force members encourage the public, including health policy experts, economists, attorneys, scientists, health care practitioners, academics, and consumers, to share ideas that will lead to the development of future enforcement and policy efforts.

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