Join the DDA or

Paroxetine anti-competition appeal concludes with CMA win

GSK and generic suppliers acted uncompetitively

May 14th 2021

Tagged: political news

By Ailsa Colquhoun

The Competition Appeal Tribunal has upheld a decision by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that GlaxoSmithKline and some generic suppliers of the anti-depressant paroxetine broke competition law.

However, fines imposed by the CMA have been reduced to £27.1 million.

The case relates to £50 million in payments which GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) claims were paid in settlement of patent litigation. Payments were made to generic suppliers of paroxetine, including Generics (UK) Limited (GUK) and Alpharma Limited (Alpharma).

However, the CMA concluded that payments were aimed at delaying the potential entry of these competitors supplying generic medicines into the UK market, and were unlawful.  In 2016, the CMA imposed fines totalling £44.99 million on the companies directly involved in the infringements – and, where relevant, on their parent companies or successors to these companies.

An appeal was subsequently launched, but judgment from the Tribunal unanimously dismissed all the appeals heard. The factors leading to the lowered fines have not been disclosed.

The Department of Health and Social Care will now be able to seek follow-on damages in the courts.

More information on this investigation can be found on the Paroxetine investigation case page.