|Author (Person)||Frost, Laurence|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.22, 31.5.01, p17|
LEADING pharmaceuticals firms have joined forces with a US-based market data firm in a bid to convince the European Commission to force a rival to share a key analysis technique used in Germany.
The Commission is soon to rule on a request for interim measures forcing IMS Health to licence out the method used to process medicine sales figures and sell them on to drugs firms.
The anti-trust probe is widely seen as a test case in which EU competition law is in conflict with copyright rules, as interpreted by national courts.
US firm NDC has asked for the measures pending a full investigation by the EU watchdog, and while pursuing an appeal against a German court ruling that found it had infringed IMS's copyright by using the technique.
More than 15 major drug firms have now joined the fray, urging IMS to licence the technique, with many making submissions to the Commission probe.
NDC's case has won support from former IMS clients such as Schwarz Pharma. The German firm, with a turnover of h205 million, left IMS and signed up with NDC early this year.
The IMS technique maps sales data by postcode areas. It is geographicaly precise yet complies with data protection laws. "In the long run we're going to have to use [the method], but we no longer want to be dependent on a monopoly that effectively blocks all competition," said Schwarz's general manager Georg Noweski.
Leading pharmaceuticals firms have joined forces with a US-based market data firm in a bid to convince the European Commission to force a rival to share a key analysis technique used in Germany.
|Subject Categories||Business and Industry, Internal Markets|