Aspen yesterday welcomed the Competition Commission`s decision to drop the excessive pricing investigations against it and agent Equity.
The commission yesterday halted its probe, charging that it could not sustain a case of excessive pricing against it.
However, it said its investigations into Roche, US-based technology company Genentech and Pfizer were continuing. Aspen chief executive Stephen Saad said the decision to investigate was expeditious and co-operative.
The decision follows the commissions initiation of investigations against Aspen, Roche, Genentech, Pfizer and Equity in June for suspected abuse of dominance and excessive pricing in the provision of specific cancer medicines in South Africa. When the commission announced the probe, Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele said the anti-graft agency had identified the health-care sector, and in particular pharmaceuticals, as a priority sector for its enforcement efforts due to the likely negative impact that anti-competitive conduct in that sector would have on consumers in general and specifically the poor and vulnerable.
Yesterday, the commission said the Aspen probe revealed that the revenue attributable to Myleran, Alkeran and Leukeran was low as the products were at the end of their lifespans. In respect of Equity, the investigation revealed that the drug, Xalkori Crizotinib, is not yet registered in South Africa. It was imported once with the permission of the Medicines Control Council. The high price charged by Equity was as a result of high cost incurred in importing the product from Germany, the commission said.
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