European Commission Pharma Cartel Fine


All six companies, however, have come clean about their roles in the cartel, opting to settle the case.

The Verdict from Brussels

Commissioner Didier Reynders, responsible for competition policy at the European Commission, issued a stern statement, saying, “Today we impose a fine on companies for illegally coordinating prices and allocating quotas for an active pharmaceutical ingredient used to produce widely prescribed drugs. This is our first cartel decision in such an important sector, where competition is essential to provide access to affordable medicines.”

European Commission Pharma Cartel Fine : Lifeblood of the Scandal

At the heart of this gripping scandal lies the product ‘N-Butylbromide Scopolamine/Hyoscine,’ or SNBB. This key ingredient contributes to the production of Buscopan, a medication trusted for its ability to alleviate stomach cramps and period pain.

The Commission initiated its probe after C2 PHARMA blew the whistle in April 2019, actively collaborating with Swiss and Australian competition authorities.

C2 PHARMA’s Noble Stand

A spokesperson for C2 PHARMA revealed the company’s commitment to fair competition: “C2 PHARMA is and remains committed to fair and open competition. Its policies and procedures prohibit its employees from engaging in anti-competitive practices.”

Boehringer Ingelheim’s Pledge

Boehringer Ingelheim expressed its acceptance of the settlement decision, pledging allegiance to integrity and compliance. A company spokesperson stated, “Throughout the investigation, we fully cooperated with the European Commission, demonstrating our commitment to transparency and accountability.”

European Commission Pharma Cartel Fine : Shunning Illicit Practices

The spokesperson further emphasized the company’s devotion to ethics, emphasizing a zero-tolerance policy towards illegal or illicit business practices. Boehringer Ingelheim’s unwavering dedication to moral business conduct is steadfast.

One Company’s Defiance

While six companies chose the path of cooperation and settlement, the Commission’s sights are firmly set on a seventh player, Alchem, who has opted to defy the regulators. Investigations into Alchem’s activities will continue.

European Commission Pharma Cartel Fine : Calculating the Fines

In determining the magnitude of the fines, the Commission took into account the sales value of SNBB connected to the infringement, alongside the geographical extent and duration of the wrongdoing.