Law360 (September 9, 2021, 4:26 PM EDT) -- Ingrid Vandenborre of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP won over the European Commission on commitments that ended a three-year probe into Aspen Pharmacare Holdings, making her one of Law360's 2021 Competition MVPs.
Her biggest accomplishment this year:
Vandenborre, partner-in-charge of Skadden's Brussels office, considers the outcome of the sprawling Aspen investigation her main recent achievement. The European Union's competition arm's lengthy probe concluded with no finding of infringement after Aspen stood accused of excessive pricing.
The case, dating to May 2017, was groundbreaking in that Aspen was the first EU decision dealing with such allegations in pharmaceuticals — and the first-ever commission ruling accepting commitments tied to conduct in the sector, Skadden noted.
The investigation presented tough issues both for Aspen, which denied that the medicines' prices had been inflated, and the commission as it tackled novel issues surrounding "accepted price" levels set by dominant market players.
"That was difficult because there is a great difference in the regulatory framework in pricing of pharmaceuticals in different EU member states," Vandenborre said. "Our view was [the] commission couldn't make its case given the cost constraints for the products that were augmented as a result of intra-EU parallel trade."
"The pricing structure in the EU is very fragmented," she added.
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