Hausfeld leads Dutch excessive pricing claim against AbbVie
Hausfeld Amsterdam, acting in cooperation with local Dutch firm Coupry, issued a writ on behalf of the foundation Farma ter Verantwoording (Pharma Accountability Foundation) against pharmaceutical company AbbVie on Tuesday 21 February 2023.
This marks the start of a collective action against AbbVie for unfair, excessive pricing practices on its blockbuster medicine Humira. AbbVie sold €2.3 billion worth of Humira in the Netherlands during its market monopoly between 2004 and 2018. Economists instructed by the foundation calculated that AbbVie had overcharged the Dutch healthcare system by up to €1.2 billion.
The grounds underlying the claim are both that AbbVie acted unlawful by breaching its duty of care (also taking into account human rights violations) by charging excessive prices leading to displacement of health care and (2) by abusing its dominant position thereby, infringing Article 102 TFEU.
Wilbert Bannenberg, Chair of Farma ter Verantwoording, said:
“By making excessive profits amounting to €68 per Dutch citizen, AbbVie has displaced other health care, and thus damaged the health of Dutch citizens. Health economists have calculated that AbbVie’s excessive profit could have ensured up to 16,300 extra years of healthy life for Dutch citizens. No doctor wants to be forced to prioritize one patient/treatment over another due to limited budgets.”
Hausfeld partner Rogier Meijer, counsel to the foundation, said:
“PAF decided to lodge a class action instead of filing a complaint to the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) because its allegations extend beyond antitrust infringements.”
A first hearing in the case is expected to take place in the fall of 2023.
The dedicated website, https://www.pharmaceuticalaccountability.org, offers additional information and is accessible in both Dutch and English.
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Dutch television program Nieuwsuur showcased a feature on the case on Tuesday 21 February (in Dutch).