AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION v PFIZER: EVERGREENING AND MARKET POWER AS A BLOCKBUSTER DRUG GOES OFF PATENT

Thomas Faunce

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    In Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd [2015] FCA 113, the ACCC alleged that Pfizer's "Project LEAP" involved a scheme to lock pharmacists into substituting its generic version of the high sales volume anti-cholesterol drug, patent-expired atorvastatin (Lipitor), which took advantage of a substantial degree of market power for a purpose proscribed by s 46(1)(c) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth). The ACCC also claimed that Pfizer's actions constituted a course of exclusive dealing pursuant to s 47(1)(d) and (e) for the proscribed purpose of lessening competition. Flick J in the Federal Court of Australia, in a judgment heavy with quotations but sparse in reasoning, dismissed the ACCC's Amended Originating Application alleging abuse of market power and ordered the ACCC to pay Pfizer's costs. The ACCC has now appealed the decision. This column explores this case in the context of Pfizer's broader strategies to preserve its income globally from this high sales volume drug in the period following its patent expiration.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)771-787
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of law and medicine
    Volume22
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015

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