IQVIA Secures Victory Against HMR Before the Spanish High Court

June 28, 2023

Cleary Gottlieb represented IQVIA Information S.A. (IQVIA Spain) in securing commitments in competition proceedings before the Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) following a complaint from Health Market Research España S.L. (HMR) and in securing a successful outcome in the litigation that followed before the Spanish High Court.

In 2015, HMR lodged complaints against IQVIA Spain for alleged violation of Spanish and EU competition law in the market for sales tracking data of pharmaceutical products through the inclusion by IQVIA Spain of contractual conditions in its relationships with pharmaceutical wholesalers in Spain that would allegedly be hindering and/or preventing the market entry of new competitors. The CNMC initiated a formal investigation (Case S/DC/0567 Estudios de Mercado Industria Farmacéutica), but eventually agreed to terminate the procedure, without a finding of infringement or a fine, relating to an alleged abuse of dominant position by means of commitments proposed by IQVIA Spain in 2017. Through the commitments, IQVIA Spain renounced to certain clauses in its contracts with pharmaceutical wholesalers (a most favored customer clause and an early termination clause in case of multiple supply, as well as the prior notice obligation included in the early termination clause) and committed to treat the percentages in a price reduction clause in the event of multiple supply as maximum percentages.

Following the CNMC’s commitments decision, IQVIA fulfilled its reporting obligations until 2020, when the CNMC declared that IQVIA had complied with the commitments and declared the termination and closing of the monitoring proceedings (Case VATC/0567/15).

Cleary also represented IQVIA Spain in the judicial proceedings that HMR initiated subsequently to challenge the legality of the CNMC commitments decision before the Spanish High Court, seeking its annulment. On June 28, 2023, the Spanish High Court entirely dismissed HMR’s appeal.