European Commission Launches Pharmaceutical Competition Inquiry with Dawn Raids

January 18, 2008
The European Commission carried out dawn raids on several innovator and generic pharmaceutical companies on Wednesday, January 16, 2008, as the first step in a “sector inquiry” into competition in the pharmaceutical industry. For the pharmaceutical industry, the initiation of the sector inquiry means intensified scrutiny that likely will last for several years. The Commission has also announced that it intends to send out requests for information to other pharmaceutical companies as part of its inquiry. For other industries, the novel use of the dawn raid in connection with a sector inquiry underscores the need to have in place a process for dealing with dawn raids, particularly to protect privileged communications that are not afforded the same protections in the EU that they are afforded in the United States. This article explains the impacts of this intensified Commission scrutiny and Dechert’s relevant experience in handling such actions.