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The European Commission has opened an investigation into allegations that Vifor Pharma spread misleading information about a rival treatment to its blockbuster drug for iron deficiency, the latest sign of governments cracking down on anticompetitive practices in the pharmaceutical industry.

In a statement, the EC explained that Vifor may have disparaged its “closet and, potentially, only” competitor to its Ferinject medicine in the European market. Specifically, the global drug company ran a “misleading communication campaign,” primarily targeting health care providers, about a treatment sold by Pharmacosmos, a small, family run company based in Denmark.


“Competition in the pharmaceutical sector is important… The dissemination of misleading information regarding the safety of Pharmacosmos’ iron deficiency treatment, Monofer, may have delayed its uptake. This would ultimately harm patients by stifling competition from an innovative medicine,” said Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president in charge of competition policy at the EC, in a statement.

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