Millennium Post

CCI orders probe against Swiss pharma MNC Roche for unfair business practices

The Competition Commission has ordered a detailed investigation against pharma major Roche and its two group firms for alleged unfair business ways in the market for a cancer drug.

The regulator's decision has come on a complaint filed by drug makers Biocon and Mylan Pharmaceuticals. After a detailed analysis of the various allegations made against Switzerland's F Hoffmann-La Roche AG and its group entities – US-based Genentech and Roche Products (India) Pvt Ltd – CCI has concluded that there is "prima-facie" evidence of competition norm violations.

For the case, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) considered 'market for biological drugs based on Trastuzumab, including its biosimilars in India' as the relevant one. Trastuzumab block the effects of HER-2 protein, which sends growth signals to cancer cells, and targets a specific form of breast cancer. In a 36-page order, made public today, the CCI said a dominant enterprise is endowed with a special responsibility not to allow its conduct to impair undistorted competition in the relevant market.

"Prima facie, it appears to the Commission that Roche Group has shirked such responsibility and indulged in abusive conduct," the order, dated April 21, said.

According to the watchdog, Roche Group is dominant in the relevant market and can operate independently of the market forces. The CCI said it is of the considered view that "prima facie, the contravention with regard to Section 4(2)(c) of the (Competition) Act is made out against Roche Group, which warrants detailed investigation into the matter".
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