CCP withdraws notice to Pharma Bureau

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ISLAMABAD: While setting aside its show-cause notice to Pharma Bureau (PB) for alleged cartelisation, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has warned that the pharmaceutical sector is under its watch and any collusive or anti-competitive activity will be strictly dealt with.

A bench of the CCP bench on Wednesday set aside the findings of its inquiry in the matter of alleged violation of Section 4 of the Competition Act 2010 by the PB, which is an association and representative body of over 20 multinational pharmaceutical companies (MNCs). However, during the hearings the CCP team could not substantiate the allegations.

Also Read: Pakistan needs to reform pharma regulatory framework

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In 2016, the commission took a suo motu notice and conducted an inquiry into allegations published in national press that a number of pharma companies have increased prices of a range of medicines up to 300pc at the behest of the Pharma Bureau.

The CCP order stated that Pharma Bureau cannot be held to have violated Section 4 of the act by taking any decision which has the object or effect of preventing, restricting or reducing competition within the relevant market.

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The order also stated that the importance of undertakings and associations remaining vigilant as to the threat of potential collusion and other anti-competitive practices.

CCP bench reiterated that the commission remains vigilant against all forms of collusion and cartelisation that may take place in any market, including the pharmaceutical sector.

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2019

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