Paroxetine investigation: anti-competitive agreements and conduct

The CMA investigated certain agreements relating to paroxetine under Chapter I and II of the CA98 and Article 101 of the TFEU.

Case reference: CE/9531-11

Case timetable

Date Action
10 August 2016 Publication of non-confidential version of infringement decision
12 February 2016 Final infringement decision issued
12 February 2016 Final no grounds for action decision issued in respect of one party
September 2015 Oral hearings with parties on written representations on the draft penalty statements
July 2015 to August 2015 Period for written representations on the draft penalty statements and proposed no grounds for action decision
30 June 2015 Draft penalty statements issued to certain parties
30 June 2015 Proposed no grounds for action decision issued in respect of one party
December 2014 to January 2015 Oral hearings with parties on written representations on supplementary statement of objections
October 2014 to December 2014 Period for written representations on the supplementary statement of objections
21 October 2014 Supplementary statement of objections issued
October 2013 to October 2014 Consideration of parties’ written and oral representations on the statement of objections
October 2013 Oral hearings with parties on written representations on statement of objections
August 2013 Period for written representations on the statement of objections
19 April 2013 Statement of objections issued
March 2012 to April 2013 OFT analysis and review of parties’ responses to information requests - issue of further information requests
September 2011 to February 2012 OFT analysis and review of parties’ responses to initial information requests
August 2011 to January 2012 Initial investigation: information gathering, including issue of formal or informal information requests and parties’ responses
August 2011 Investigation opened

Change log

The following changes have been made to the case timetable since it was first published in October 2012:

Date of change Reason for change Change made to timetable
9 December 2015 Additional time needed to finalise the decision(s) Estimated timing of final decision(s) put back by around 1 to 3 months
2 July 2015 Additional time needed to consider parties’ responses to the statement of objections and supplementary statement of objections Estimated timing of final decision put back by around 6 months
21 October 2014 Additional time needed to issue supplementary statement of objections Estimated timing of final decision put back by around 6 months
27 September 2013 Additional time needed for parties to respond to the statement of objections Estimated timing of oral hearings put back by 1 month
25 February 2013 Requirement for further review and changes to scope of the investigation Estimated timing of investigation put back by 2 months

Case information

In August 2011, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) opened an investigation into certain patent dispute settlement agreements relating to paroxetine, a medicine used in the treatment of disorders such as depression and anxiety disorder.

Non-confidential infringement decision

10 August 2016: The CMA has published a non-confidential version of the decision in this case.

Infringement decision

12 February 2016: The CMA has issued an infringement decision to the following companies, which the CMA considers were either directly involved in an infringement of competition law and/or are liable as parent companies of the companies directly involved, or as successors to these companies:

Beecham Group plc, GlaxoSmithKline UK Limited, GlaxoSmithKline plc and SmithKline Beecham Limited (formerly SmithKline Beecham plc) (together GSK), Generics (UK) Limited, Merck KGaA, Actavis UK Limited (formerly Alpharma Limited), Xellia Pharmaceuticals ApS (formerly Alpharma ApS) and Alpharma LLC (formerly Zoetis Products LLC, Alpharma LLC and Alpharma Inc).

The CMA has imposed fines on these parties totalling £44.99 million.

No grounds for action decision (IVAX-GSK agreement)

10 August 2016: The CMA has published a case closure summary in respect of an agreement between Norton Healthcare Limited (formerly IVAX Pharmaceuticals UK) and GSK.

12 February 2016: The CMA has issued a no grounds for action decision in respect of an agreement between Norton Healthcare Limited (formerly IVAX Pharmaceuticals UK) and GSK.

Supplementary statement of objections

21 October 2014: The CMA issued a supplementary statement of objections revising certain aspects of its provisional findings in the statement of objections.

News story: CMA takes further procedural step in paroxetine investigation (21.10.14)

Statement of objections

19 April 2013: The OFT issued a statement of objections alleging that certain pharmaceutical companies had infringed competition law in relation to the UK supply of paroxetine.

Contacts

Principal case officer

Richard Butterworth (020 3738 6807, richard.butterworth@cma.gsi.gov.uk)

Project director

Geoff Steadman (020 3738 6311, geoff.steadman@cma.gsi.gov.uk)

Senior responsible officer

Ann Pope (020 3738 6786, ann.pope@cma.gsi.gov.uk)

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