12:00 AM
Jan 12, 2004
 |  BioCentury  |  Politics, Policy & Law

Playing tag on parallel imports

It is too early for drug companies to claim victory on parallel imports in Europe. Although Bayer AG won an appeal on the issue last week, the ruling was made on a narrow basis that won't lay the issue to rest.

The European Court of Justice last week issued a final ruling on a dispute going back to 1996. The ruling requires the EU Commission to withdraw its decision to fine Bayer for illegal obstruction of parallel drug imports. But the implications of the ruling have not yet been evaluated. In addition, further disputes are ongoing. Thus, Europe probably will have to wait for a political solution.

The problem is caused by a paradoxical situation in Europe: the EU allows state-regulated...

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