European Union antitrust officials have launched a formal antitrust probe against Danish drugmaker H Lundbeck A/S, alleging that the company broke rules on fair competition.
The European Commission (EC) said yesterday that it launched the probe on suspicion that the Copenhagen-based Lundbeck may have delayed the launch of a cheaper generic version of its antidepressant drug Citalopram in Europe.
In a statement, the Brussels-based EC said, ''The Commission in particular intends to investigate unilateral behavior and agreements by Lundbeck which may hinder the entry of generic Citalopram into markets in the European Economic Area."
The EC wants to find out whether Lundbeck made deals with other pharmaceutical companies to delay them selling Citalopram after Lundbeck's exclusive right to the drug it developed ran out in 2003.
Lundbeck said in a statement that it is cooperating fully with the EC and it is confident that the group has complied with all relevant national and EU competition legislation.
Citalopram, which belongs to a class of antidepressant drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, is one of the most widely used drugs to treat depression and anxiety.