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Genzyme Limited

No. CA98/3/03

27 March 2003

The Director General of Fair Trading has concluded that Genzyme Limited has abused its dominant position in the market for the supply of drugs for the treatment of Gaucher disease in the UK in breach of section 18 (the Chapter II prohibition) of the Competition Act 1998.

Genzyme supplies the NHS with Cerezyme, a drug for the treatment of Gaucher disease. Gaucher disease is a rare inherited disorder. Genzyme has a dominant position in the market for the supply of drugs for the treatment of Gaucher disease.

Genzyme has abused its dominant position by making the NHS pay a price which includes home delivery of Cerezyme and provision of homecare services if the NHS wishes to purchase Cerezyme, and by adopting a pricing policy for Cerezyme which results in a margin squeeze. The first practice began in the early 1990s and it has constituted an infringement of the Act since the coming into force of the Chapter II prohibition on 1 March 2000.  The second infringement began in May 2001 when Genzyme launched its own delivery and homecare services operation and continued until the date of this decision. 

Genzyme's behaviour has prevented any competition in home delivery of Cerezyme and provision of homecare services, thereby reserving this activity to Genzyme (or an undertaking acting under contract for it), and depriving the NHS and patients of a choice of delivery/homecare services provider. By preventing viable independent provision of delivery/homecare services for Cerezyme, Genzyme's behaviour has also raised barriers to entry into the market for the supply of drugs for the treatment of Gaucher disease. The Director takes the view that this behaviour has affected trade within the UK and is in breach of the Chapter II prohibition.

The Director considers that Genzyme's behaviour constitutes a serious infringement of the Act. He is therefore imposing a financial penalty on Genzyme of £6.8 million.


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