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China Intensifies Antitrust Enforcement in the Pharmaceutical Industry: NDRC Issues Ruling in its First Concerted Practice Case

Author::Michael Gu浏览次数: September 23,2016

Authored by Mr. Michael Gu (Partner  at AnJie Law Firm

Introduction

Since the implementation of the Anti-Monopoly Law (the “AML”) in August 2008, those industries particularly affecting the populous’ quality of life have been the major focus of the antitrust authorities’ enforcement agenda. Targeted industries include those such as automobile, consumer goods, insurance, construction materials, tourism, tobacco, telecoms and public utilities, etc. In particular, the National Development and Reform Commission (the “NDRC”) has launched several rounds of “antitrust storms” upon the auto industry, which attracted wide attention in recent years. In the meantime, enforcement upon the pharmaceutical industry has been relatively light, even though it is a critical sector affecting quality of life. In spite of some discussion and various rumors, neither the NDRC nor the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of the PRC (the “SAIC”) had penalized any pharmaceutical enterprises over the past few years. However, during a single month period in the beginning of 2016, both the SAIC and the NDRC respectively published penalty decisions against pharmaceutical companies, i.e. the Chongqing Qingyang Pharmaceutical Monopoly case  and the Allopurinol Drug Cartel case . The nearly parallel actions evidence an accelerated enforcement targeting the pharmaceutical industry.

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