European Court of Justice Rules That Dominant Pharmaceutical Companies Cannot Refuse To Meet Ordinary Orders By Wholesalers In Order To Prevent Parallel Imports

September 25, 2008
The European Union’s high court has ruled that a pharmaceutical company is breaking EU law if, in an effort to prevent parallel trade, it refuses to meet a wholesaler’s “ordinary” order. While declining to reinforce prior rulings that favored dominant pharmaceutical companies, the ruling did leave room for the companies to refuse to meet wholesale orders that are “out of the ordinary.” This update examines the court’s decision and the potential ramifications for the pharmaceutical industry.