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The Czech Republic’s Office for the Protection of Competition Will Intensify Its Focus on the Pharmaceutical Sector

Office for the Protection of Competition Will Intensify Its Focus on the Pharmaceutical Sector

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According to its recently published annual report, the Office for the Protection of Competition of the Czech Republic (the "Office") plans a thorough investigation of the pharmaceutical sector, in terms of compliance with both competition and public procurement rules.

In this context, the Office will carry out an extensive sectoral investigation in the pharmaceutical sector, focusing in particular on the distribution of pharmaceuticals. According to our information, the Office has already initiated the first steps to investigate selected practices in the pharmaceutical sector. It has also established cooperation with other public institutions, such as the Czech Chamber of Pharmacists, the Czech State Institute for Drug Control (SUKL), the General Health Insurance Company of the Czech Republic (VZP) and the Ministry of Health, which will assist in the detection of possible anti-competitive practices within the framework of the sectoral investigation.

It can therefore be expected that the Office will turn to a number of entities from the pharmaceutical sector as part of the planned investigation, in particular pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, pharma-cies, health insurance companies, healthcare providers and other relevant entities. The Office has quite extensive powers within the sectoral investigation. It can conduct  unannounced raids at the business premises of companies and require intensive cooperation from the investigated entities, under the threat of high, often multi-million Czech crown fines.

In this context, we recommend that individual companies prepare thoroughly for possible investigations by the Office. This preparation should focus first on the correct set-up of internal processes and compliance manuals. Ideally, it is also advisable to conduct training of management and selected personnel so that they are able to respond adequately in the context of an investigation and do not expose the company and themselves to the risk of sanctions.

By Petr Zakoucky, Managing Partner, and Adam Prerovsky, Senior Associate, Dentons

Czech Republic Knowledge Partner

PRK Partners, one of the leading Central European law firms, has been helping clients achieve their business objectives almost 30 years. Our team of lawyers, based in our Prague, Ostrava, and Bratislava offices, has a unique knowledge of Czech and Slovak law and of the business environment. Our lawyers studied at top law schools in the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland and elsewhere. They also have experience working for leading international and domestic law firms in a number of jurisdictions. We speak your language, too. Our legal team is fluent in more than 15 languages, including all the key languages of the region.

PRK Partners has one of the most experienced legal teams on the market. We are consistently rated as one of the leading law firms in the region. We have received many significant honours and awards for our work. We represent the interests of international clients operating in the Czech Republic in an efficient way, combining local knowledge with an understanding of their global requirements in a business-friendly approach. We are one of the largest law firms in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Our specialised teams of lawyers and tax advisors advise major global corporations as well as local companies. We provide comprehensive legal advice drawing on our profound knowledge of local law and markets.

Our legal advice delivers tangible results – as proven by our strong track record. We are the only Czech member firm of Lex Mundi, the world's leading network of independent law firms. As one of the leading law firms in the region, we have received many national and international awards, in some cases several years in a row. Honours include the Chambers Europe Award for Excellence, The Lawyer and Czech and Slovak Law Firm of the Year. Thanks to our close cooperation with leading international law firms and strong local players, we can serve clients in multiple jurisdictions around the globe. Our strong network means that we can meet your needs, wherever you do business.

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