Lundbeck Suffers Setback in Fight Over $105 Million EU Fine

(Bloomberg) -- H. Lundbeck A/S should lose its fight against a 93.8 million-euro ($105 million) antitrust fine for so-called pay-for-delay deals that stalled sales of cheaper generic versions of one of its drugs, an adviser to the European Union’s top court said.

The company’s appeal should be dismissed, Advocate General Juliane Kokott of the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg said in a non-binding opinion on Thursday in support of the European Commission’s initial findings. The court’s decision follows in a few months.

The Lundbeck investigation was the commission’s first case over pay-for-delay settlements -- seen by the EU’s antitrust arm as a blatant breach of competition rules, adding to the costs of cash-strapped health systems by hampering the availability of less expensive medicines.

A lower EU tribunal in 2016 dismissed the company’s appeal, backing with the commission’s decision that Lundbeck struck illegal agreements with rivals to prevent them selling generic versions of antidepressant citalopram after the basic patent for the drug expired.

The case is: C-591/16 P, Lundbeck v. Commission.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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