The European Commission is preparing to fine the Danish laboratory Lundbeck over an agreement to delay the release onto the market of generic medicines. According to a source, Lundbeck is set to receive a large fine in June, and the Commission is also targeting the German company Merck and seven others manufacturing generic medicines over agreements to delay for two years the entry onto the market of the generic form of the anti-depressant Citalopram. These generic medicines contain the same molecule as the original but cost, on average, 40% less than the original since the patent has expired, or is due to expire.

The agreements concerned are typical examples of pay for delay' deals, where originator companies strike a deal with one or several manufacturers of generic medicines to postpone the release onto the market of a medicine (see insight in Europolitics 4553). Such agreements have been...

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