AMSTERDAM: The Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation (PAF), a group of legal and medical experts and public health advocates, today welcomes the news that the Spanish competition authority CNMC has fined pharmaceutical company Leadiant €10.25 million for its abuse of its market position to overcharge sufferers of a rare genetic disease.
Apart from paying the €10.25m fine, Leadiant will have to market the drug in Spain at a price that is not excessive, and negotiated with the Ministry of Health. In other countries, Leadiant dropped its price from €140 to €50-€70 per capsule CDCA. Leadiant was also ordered to lift the exclusivity signed with the only supplier of the active ingredient (Italian raw material producer PCI). This is important, as it will enable pharmacists to compound CDCA for patients at even lower costs. The Amsterdam University Medical Centre had trouble sourcing affordable CDCA raw material, and this resulted in a Dutch price of about €30 per capsule.
This is Leadiant’s 4th fine, after the fines in Netherlands (€19.6m), Israel (€2.2m), and Italy (€3.5m). Another case in Belgium is still pending. PAF brought the first case against Leadiant in 2018 in the Netherlands, after the company leveraged its monopoly position there to hike prices of the medicine CDCA from €0,28 per capsule to €140 per capsule.
The news that the company is being held accountable for abuses elsewhere is encouraging. But it is not merely abuse of competition that Leadiant must answer for: it is also responsible for overcharging the health system. We call on the Dutch health care system to claim the €18 million we estimate they were overcharged by the company during its monopoly period.