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Watchdog Finds Big Pharma in Mexico Faces No Competition on Some Drugs

Stefanie Eschenbacher - Reuters
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August 17, 2017
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Major drugmakers including GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Pfizer Inc face no competition in Mexico from generics that are readily available elsewhere, partly because of regulatory failings, Mexico's antitrust body said last week.

The companies have done nothing illegal, Juan Manuel Espino, Cofece's director of economic studies, said at a presentation of the body's probe into the Mexican drugs market, which found a lack of promotion for generics led to limited competition.

The report, released by Cofece, also said some of the companies used unspecified legal strategies to extend drug exclusivity after patents expire. It recommended the government tighten rules on issuing secondary patents and actively promote generic alternatives.

Cofece also said the sector might suffer from uncompetitive practices such as "pay-for-delay" arrangements, under which patent holders pay alleged infringers to not challenge patents.

Generics were much slower to penetrate the Mexican market after patents expired on brand name drugs than in Canada and the United States, the report said.

According to a document seen by Reuters, Cofece also identified other pharmaceutical companies with products facing no competition, including Sanofi SA, AstraZeneca Plc, Merck & Co Inc, Novartis AG, Janssen-Cilag SA, Abbott Laboratories, Roche Holdings AG and Eli Lilly and Co.

Resolving the situation could save Mexican consumers 2.5 billion pesos ($139 million) a year, Cofece said.

Read the rest at Reuters

Related: Where Have All the Generics Gone? You Won’t Find Many in Mexico (STAT)

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