The Political Economy of Excessive Pricing in The Pharmaceutical Sector in The EU: A Question of Democracy?

Until recently, excessive pricing as an antitrust violation in the EU was considered a dead letter – there had been no proceedings for over a decade. The last few years have witnessed a dramatic surge in such cases, almost exclusively in the pharmaceutical sector. This piece argues that in a market as highly regulated in the EU as pharmaceuticals, including on the pricing side, antitrust law is an inappropriate tool. The antitrust notion of a fair price – even assuming there is such a thing – is singularly unsuited for deciding what is essentially a political question as to how much the …

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