FTC creates group to analyze pharmaceutical mergers

The Federal Trade Commission said March 16 it is creating a working group with several other countries to take a new approach to analyzing the effects of pharmaceutical mergers. 

The group will include the Canadian Competition Bureau, the European Commission Directorate General for Competition, the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority, the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division and offices of state attorneys general.

The FTC said the goal of the group is to identify concrete and actionable steps to review and update the analysis of pharmaceutical mergers. 

"Given the high volume of pharmaceutical mergers in recent years, amid skyrocketing drug prices and ongoing concerns about anticompetitive conduct in the industry, it is imperative that we rethink our approach toward pharmaceutical merger review," said acting FTC Chair Rebecca Kelly Slaughter in a news release. "Working hand in hand with international and domestic enforcement partners, we intend to take an aggressive approach to tackling anticompetitive pharmaceutical mergers."

The working group seeks to answer several questions, such as what the full range of a pharmaceutical merger's effects on innovation is and how to consider pharmaceutical conduct, such as price-fixing and reverse payments, in a merger review. 

Read the full news release here

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