The Economic Court of Kyiv canceled all claims of the Antimonopoly Committee against the manufacturer of the antiviral drug Proteflazid by Research and Production Company Ecopharm.
In July 2020, the Antimonopoly Committee imposed a fine of UAH 3.2 million ($114 thousand) on a pharmaceutical manufacturer for unfair competition and dissemination of false information.
The Antimonopoly Committee has complaints about the publication on the Ecopharm website of a scientific report of the Institute of Epidemiology of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine on laboratory studies of the action of Proteflazid on coronaviruses, which took place in the winter-spring of 2020. In the report, the scientists came to the conclusion about the possible ability of the active substance to inhibit the replication of RNA-containing viruses (which include coronaviruses).
The Antimonopoly Committee also regarded the letter of appeal from Ecopharm to the then Minister of Health of Ukraine with a proposal to provide a drug for the preventive protection of the medical staff of hospitals as unfair competition.
In turn, the court did not agree with the statement that the scientific report of the Institute of Epidemiology can be interpreted as advertising, because it is scientific and technical information containing information about the achievements obtained in the course of scientific activities.
In addition, the results of the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research (Germany) and IRTA CReSA (Spain) laboratories were submitted to Ecopharm for the trial, which after the first stage of research confirmed that Proteflazid exhibits specific antiviral activity against the CoV229E and SARS-CoV 2. Also, according to summary statistics published in October by the National Academy of Statistics and Audit on the basis of observations from more than 100 hospitals in Ukraine, the drug reduced the incidence among medical staff and facilitated the course of the disease in patients.
Regarding the letter to the Minister of Health, the court noted that the Antimonopoly Committee did not justify how a letter to a specific person could affect the intentions to purchase a prescription drug.
Also, the court did not see evidence that after the publication of the report of the Institute of Epidemiology, the company received any competitive advantages.