The European Commission opened, on 7 January, an anti-trust investigation into the Danish pharmaceutical undertaking H. Lundbeck, which it suspects of hindering the market entry of generic drugs. Such practices, if confirmed by the investigation, are a violation of EU rules that ban restrictive practices and abuse of dominant position (Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU).

The executive intends to explore in particular the firm's "unilateral behaviour" and agreements by Lundbeck that may hinder the entry of generic citalopram on markets. Citalopram is an anti-depressant initially developed by Lundbeck.

In July 2009, the Commission opened a general inquiry into the pharmaceutical sector and identified ways used by originator companies to obstruct the entry of generic drugs on the market. That inquiry allowed it to target its competition actions more accurately. This question has an impact on national budgets because generic medicines are less...

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