The discussion of "The development of competition environment in the pharmaceutical market in order to increase the availability of drugs and vaccines for treating COVID-19" took place on December 14, 2021 as part of the meeting of BRICS Working Group for the Research of CompetitionTadzio Schilling Issues in Pharmaceutical Markets.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected the entire global economy, including the pharmaceutical sector. It caused a rapid change in the structure of the markets for pharmaceutical and medical devices, revealing the problems of the availability of medicines and medical care to the population, and, thereby, posing new challenges to competition authorities in all countries in the world. The dicsussions on the margins of the 19th session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law and Policy UN Conference on Trade and Development (IGE UNCTAD), held from 7 to 9 July 2021, confirmed the importance of this issue for the international competition community.
In this regard the competition authorities are taking various measures of antimonopoly response aimed at providing the population with medicines, increasing their availability, and preventing price increases. Among these measures is a compulsory licensing mechanism.
During the meeting, the pariticipants discussed the issues of regulating the pricing of medicines and increasing their availability, as well as to consider the importance of the compulsory licensing mechanism during a pandemic and the international practice of using this tool.
The discussion was moderated by Elena Kloster, Head, Department for Control over Public Health Service, Federal Antimonopoly Service. The discussion was also attended by:
- Timofey Nizhegorodtsev, Deputy Head, Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia)
- Alexey Ivanov, Director, HSE-Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development, BRICS International Competition Law and Policy Centre
- Jiang Yongliang, Deputy Director, Abuse of Dominance Investigation Division 2, First Department of the Anti-monopoly Enforcement, State Administration for Market Regulation of the People’s Republic of China
- Yongama Njisane, Economist, Competition Commission of South Africa
- Andrea Minuto Rizzo, Head, International Department, Italian Competition Authority
- Diana Bardhi, Inspector, Non-Production/Services Markets Surveillance Directorate, Competition Authority of Albania
- Tadzio Schilling, CEO, Association of European Business
- Yana Kotukhova, Chairman, Association of European Business Health and Pharmaceuticals Committee
- Bjorn Landqvist, Associate Professor, Department of Competition Law, Stockholm University
Serik Zhumangarin, Chairman of the Agency for Protection and Development of Competition of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Marat Omarov, Deputy Chairman of the Agency for Protection and Development of Competition of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and Yu Qiang, Lecturer, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Researcher, BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre, were commentators in the discussion.
Main questions for the discussion:
- What competition regulation issues in the pharmaceutical market are faced by antitrust regulators during a pandemic?
- What special antimonopoly measures and responses are being taken in different jurisdictions to ensure fair competition rules and drug availability in the times of COVID-19?