Ukraine fines Sanofi-Aventis subsidiary for restrictive practices

Ukraine’s competition watchdog has fined Sanofi-Aventis Ukraine and two of its distributors approximately $2.6 million for working with two distributors to restrict the competitive public procurement of dozens of medicines several years ago.

In a decision issued on Tuesday, Ukraine’s Anti-monopoly Committee explained that, during 2010 and 2011, the drug maker provided unspecified “conditions and discounts” to the distributors — BadMM and Optimum-Farm — to market Sanofi medicines for which lower-cost generic competition existed.

Leksredstva Sanofi, in particular, was designed to treat arrhythmia, epilepsy, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Commenting, Committee official Ms Svitlana Panaiotidi said that Sanofi-Aventis Ukraine, BaDM and Optima-Pharm introduced special conditions for sales and discounts stimulating distribution of medicines that had lost patent protection and have many substitutes, thus, restricting sales of medicines that did not have generic substitutes or had only a restricted number of substitutes.

Continuing, she said;

“…drugs are socially important goods. Any restriction of competition has a significant negative impact on the end user. Any actions of large pharmaceutical companies such as Sanofi-Aventis Ukraine, and the largest distributors, the purpose or consequence of which is to limit competition from cheaper generic medicines, that is, direct substitutes, will have significant negative socio-economic effect,”