Musat & Asociatii has successfully represented Farmexim, one of the leading pharmaceuticals importers and distributors on the local market, during an extensive investigation which involved all the major distributors in Romania.

The investigation was initiated by the Competition Council following the decision of pharmaceuticals distributors to stop the delivery of medicines to pharmacies and hospitals during February – October 2008, due to the refusal of the Ministry of Public Health to determine the price of pharmaceuticals by taking into account the changes in the exchange rate. The investigation concerned the possible infringement of art. 5 of the Competition Law and Article 101 of the Treaty on the Function of the European Union by Members of the Association of Pharmaceuticals Distributors and Importers (“ADIM”) and the Association of Pharmaceutical Distributors in Romania (“ADMR”).

The investigation, which started more than three years ago through Order 406/27.10.2008, also involved the carrying of dawn – raids at the headquarters of the distributors and lead to a report which recommended their sanctioning with penalties up to 4% of their turnover. Following the hearings, which took place in December 2011, and the analysis of the arguments provided by the companies under investigation, the Plenum of the Competition Concil decided to close the investigation without applying any sanctions.

Muşat & Asociaţii provided Farmexim with legal assistance throughout the investigation, by drafting the observations to the report initiated by the Competition Council and representing the client during the hearings which took place in front of the Plenum of the Competition Council.

“Closing the investigation without any sanctions represents both a favorable settlement from the client’s perspective, as well as an outstanding professional achievement of the team of lawyers involved in this project. The Competition Council thus recognizes the validity of arguments concerning both Farmexim’s actions being justifiable in terms of the applicable economic and legal context, as well as the absence of any anticompetitive effects on the market. The decision to cease the supply of medicines to pharmacies and hospitals, based upon the Ministry’s refusal to adjust the price of pharmaceuticals according to the exchange rate evolution was a necessary action, intended to counterbalance the position of power held by the Ministry, in an attempt to determine it to act according to the legal provisions”, said Anca Buta Musat, Partner Musat & Asociatii.

The succesfull settlement in the case of Farmexim continues the large scale projects in this sector involving Musat & Asociatii, the team of professionals in competition law having assisted an extensive and diverse portfolio of clients such as Eli Lilly, Roche România, GDF Suez, Belupo Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics, Abbott Laboratories, SABMiller, Servier, Novartis, Lundbeck, General Electric, PPF Partners, Electrolux, Romticket, Banca Transilvania, Enel, Generali Holding Viena AG. Moreover, Musat& Asociatii’s practice in competition law is consistently recommended in the top law firms of Romania developed by the prestigious British publication Chambers Europe and PLC Which Lawyer?.

Anca Buta Musat is recognized as one of the most innovative and active lawyers in competition law, the only Romanian lawyer awarded both in 2010 and 2011 with The International Law Office (ILO) Client Choice Award. She is also recommended as a top specialist in Romania in this area of practice by Chambers Europe and PLC Which Lawyer?.

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