European citizens need access to innovative and affordable healthcare products and services. Effective competition means that companies producing pharmaceuticals, healthcare devices, or other health-related products and services compete with one another based on the quality and price of their products and services. As a result, companies are incentivised to invest in the development of new treatments and to apply prices that are more competitive. When such circumstances prevail, citizens win.
The control of mergers also protects this innovation and affordability Preventing market players from obtaining too much market power, for instance through the acquisition of their rivals, leads to more competitive markets and, in turn, protects incentives to innovate and keeps prices low.
The Commission monitors business practices in the pharmaceutical, health services and medical devices markets and ensures that effective competition prevails.
The Commission’s main enforcement actions in antitrust and mergers in the pharmaceutical sector are described in its Report on competition enforcement in the pharmaceutical sector 2009-2017 (available in DE/EN/FR and all other EU languages). The Report was drawn up in close co-operation with the national competition authorities of the EU Member States. It explains how competition authorities in the EU are working together and how their enforcement actions contribute to affordable and innovative medicines. [ read more ]