The Belgian Competition Authority is an independent body that acts against practices that stifle fair competition such as cartels, the exploitation of a strong market position to the detriment of others. In this case the pharmaceutical companies are suspected of having restricted, slowed down or prevented competitors from gaining access to the market.
The investigation concerns bio-similar medicines. These are medicines that have an equal effect as patented biological medicines. A Competition Authority investigation found that such medicines “have difficulty getting a place on the market”. For example hospitals are said to still have a preference for the original product.
The Competition Authority suspects that some pharmaceutical companies have used restrictive practices to prevent bio-similar medicines for entering the market. It has not yet been revealed which companies are being searched.