The Belgian Competition Authority (ACC) has just released its execution priority score for 2022 (to see, attachments). In line with its list of priorities from previous years and in line with the approach taken by other competition authorities, including the Dutch “Autoriteit Consument & Markt”the ABC will continue to have the pharmaceutical industry in its sights and clarifies that its vigilance and efforts apply to the entire value chain.
As if to remind stakeholders that this is business, the BCA refers to recent enforcement actions against pharmaceutical wholesalers (to see, Van Bael & Bellis life science news and insights from February 18, 2022). While this “hybrid” transaction case resulted in a fine of 29.8 million euros for the pharmaceutical wholesaler Pharma Belgium-Belmedis, the ABC is continuing its proceedings against another wholesaler, CERP, which refused to compromise. The BCA is also supposed to handle cases involving excessive prices and access to the hospital market.
Of wider interest than the pharmaceutical industry is the BCA’s announcement that its budget will receive an increase of €1.4 million (20%). The additional funds are for staff expansion, IT, knowledge management and enforcement tools such as e-discovery and whistleblowers.