THE pharmaceuticals industry is today preparing for a shake-up when the European Commission publishes the results of an 18-month investigation into brand-name drugmakers' use of patents to keep generic rivals out of the market.In a preliminary report in November, the EC's antitrust regulators said Big Pharma's use of patents was delaying generic drug companies' ability to sell cheaper copies of medicines, resulting in "significant additional costs" of up to EUR 3 billion (Pounds 2.6 billion) for European patients and taxpayers. The final report is expected to go further. Some experts are predicting that the EC could single out individual firms for legal action after the EC's antitrust officials raided drugmakers' headquarters, including British giants GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca.
Big Pharma Set for Patents Shake-Up to Boost Generics
Warwick Smith, direc...