How is COVID-19 impacting competition law for the UK pharma sector?

With COVID-19 now a global problem, the life sciences industry is facing immense pressure and unprecedented challenges


By the end of March, around 20 pharmaceutical companies were developing medicines for treatment of the virus, while others work to develop a vaccine. More day-to-day initiatives include national wholesalers joining forces to ensure that patients have the supplies they need as rapidly as possible.

Collaboration clearly has the potential to fast-track such developments and ensure adequate supplies, but companies must also continue to abide by competition law which restricts anti-competitive collaboration between competitors.

Competition regulators around the world are indicating that there will be a certain level of flexibility, but the CMA has made it clear that companies do not have a “free pass”, and are not permitted to opportunistically exploit the current crisis.

Sophie Lawrance and her team wrote an article focusing on the lessening of restrictions for the UK pharmaceutical sector:

  • Permitted collaboration
  • Co-ordination in manufacture and distribution
  • Actions that doesn’t fall within the COVID-19 exceptions

To learn more, find the full article on The CLIP Board ‘COVID-19 and its impact on Competition Law for the UK pharma sector’