The long-awaited European Commission antitrust report following an 18-month investigation of the drugs industry has been published this morning with the authors saying that “shortcomings in the pharmaceutical sector require further action”.

The final report says that market entry of generic drugs is delayed and the EC’s inquiry “suggests that company practices are among the causes”. However, it does not exclude “other factors such as shortcomings in the regulatory framework”. The Commission said it intends to “intensify its scrutiny of the pharmaceutical sector… including continued monitoring of settlements between originator and generic drug companies” and “the first antitrust investigations are already under way”.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said that “we must have more competition and less red tape in pharmaceuticals”, saying the sector “is too important to the health and finances of Europe's citizens and governments to accept anything less than the best”. She added that “the inquiry has told us what is wrong with the sector, and now it is time to act”, noting that “we will not hesitate to apply the antitrust rules where such delays result from anticompetitive practices”.

More specifically, the Commission has announced an antitrust investigation into Servier, plus the generics firms Teva, Krka, Lupin, Mylan’s Matrix Laboratories unit and Niche Generics, part of Unichem Labs.

PharmaTimes World News will have comprehensive coverage of the report’s findings and reaction in tomorrow’s elert.