On Thursday, April 5th, legislators members of the Senate’s Rights and Guarantees, and Justice Committees, passed the rulings of the Antitrust Bill (File No. 0049-D-2017). It proposes to create an enforcement authority to stimulate competition in different sectors of the Argentine economy, among which the drug market stands out. The bill already passed the Chamber of Deputies. It will be discussed in the Senate next April 18th. The ruling party will try to approve the text without changes that day.
However the opposition is pushing negotiations with other groups to incorporate amendments to the bill. In that situation, the initiative would not become law and should be re-studied by the original chamber.
The bill proposes to create an agency within the orbit of the Executive Branch with the power to sanction companies that abuse their dominant position to fix prices. Throughout the debate the ruling party focused on the situation of the market of oncological drugs.
In this regard, the provisional president of the Senate from the ruling party, Federico Pinedo, stressed: “When a bidding for oncological drugs is made and we see that prices fall by 80 percent, it is very clear that there is a super gain that falls on the prices that consumers pay”.