At the request of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of Russia, the pharmacological company Ipsen entered into a contract with the distributor Biotec LLC for the supply of its drugs for sale in Russia.
In 2019, Biotech approached Ipsen several times with an official proposal for cooperation in the supply of medicines, including in relation to which the pharmaceutical company occupies a dominant position. The company was also sent the necessary documents to pass the check. However, Ipsen not only violated the terms of their consideration every time but also made changes to her Commercial Policy three times. In particular, in its latest edition, the statute of limitations for the availability of debt for the possibility of refusing to cooperate with a business partner has undergone a significant change: it increased from 12 months to 10 years. Referring to the delay in payments in 2014-2015, Ipsen refused to conclude a contract with Biotec.
In October 2020, the FAS, having considered this situation, and given the information that Ipsen had previously renewed contracts with other counterparties, issued an order to the pharmaceutical company:
– exclude from the sections of the latest edition of the Commercial Policy provisions on the grounds for refusing to conclude a distribution agreement with a business partner, which do not comply with the requirements of antimonopoly legislation;
– re-consider the application of Biotec for the conclusion of a distribution agreement for the previously submitted package of documents, and send a draft agreement (offer) or an economically or technologically justified refusal to conclude an agreement.
Within a 30-day period, Ipsen decided to comply with FAS requirements and entered into an agreement with a distributor.
“Changes to the Commercial Policy during the consideration of the documents of Biotec, which significantly toughen the requirements for potential counterparties, could be due, among other things, to Ipsen’s unwillingness to cooperate with this distributor. At the same time, the company, occupying a dominant position in the market for the wholesale of drugs with the international non-proprietary names Lanreotide and Cabozantinib in Russia, within the framework of the same selection criteria for the Commercial Policy as amended in 2018, extended contracts for their supply with other counterparties. According to the provisions of the Law on the Protection of Competition, such a refusal to conclude an agreement between the dominant entity and the counterparty should be conditioned only by economic or technological reasons”, the FAS noted.