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Spain’s Antitrust Watchdog Fines Drugmaker For ‘Excessive’ Pricing

 |  November 15, 2022

Antitrust regulators in Spain have fined a drugmaker $10.6 million for years of “excessive” price hikes on a rare disease medicine, the latest instance in which European authorities have cracked down on the pharmaceutical industry for harming consumers and taxpayers.

The National Commission for Markets and Competition, or CNMC, said the company had abused its dominant position as the only supplier in Spain of the only medication available in the country to treat Cerebrotendinous Xanthomatosis (CTX), a rare genetic disease.

Related: Spanish Competition Watchdog Fines Drugmaker Leadiant

There are fewer than 50 people in Spain who suffer from the disease and who must take the medication for life, according to the watchdog.

Leadiant had the exclusive rights to sell the active ingredient on which the drug is based and was charging Spain’s national health system 14 times the price of an “essentially identical” treatment it sold in the country until 2010, it added.

In addition to slapping Leadiant with the fine, the watchdog also ordered it to market the drug in Spain “at a non-excessive price” that will be negotiated with the health ministry.