Indian Regulator Looks To Unlock Competition In Pharma Sector

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has launched a study to identify and address anti-competitive practices in the pharmaceutical sector as the country grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic that has accelerated household spending on health care.

Ashok Gupta, chairperson of the CCI, told Business Standard that identifying mechanisms that lock competition in the pharmaceutical markets and addressing them through proper instruments becomes all the more important during a pandemic.

While the COVID-19 pandemic made the study more pertinent, the CCI decided to launch it in the light of the huge number of cases relating to trade practices in the sector.

The study will capture the role of trade associations and e-pharmacies in the distribution chain and whether it is distorting markets and competition in the sector.

“Our years of enforcement has shown us that certain industry practices in the pharmaceutical sector do not allow markets to work effectively and healthy competition to drive the market outcomes in the form of low prices and reliable quality,” the CCI chairperson said.

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