NEW DELHI : The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has issued a warning of severe penalties and prosecution of various bodies in the pharmaceutical industry indulging in various anti-competitive practices even after giving undertakings of stopping the illegal practices for which they were caught.

Those nabbed by it for these illegal practices include national, state and district level associations of chemists, druggists, stockists, whole-sellers and manufacturers. It has identified five type of anti-competitive practices for which these associations were punished. These are:

n Not allowing anybody become chemist, stockist, distributor or whole-seller without a letter of consent by the concerned associations;

n Levying fee on pharmaceutical firms and manufacturers for release of new drugs or formulations;

n Fixing trade margins at different levels of sale of drugs/medicines;

n Restricting discounts on sale of drugs in retail or wholesale; and

n Boycott of any enterprise not following diktats of the associations.

Pointing out that the CCI has issued any number of cease and desist orders against the associations to stop the anti-competitive practices, the commission has now called upon the public through a public notice to approach it for curbing the malpractices that amount to anti-competitive in nature impacting the consumer.

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