Cooperation in the life sciences industry and EU competition law in the context of COVID-19

The life sciences industry is facing unprecedented demands due to COVID-19. From front line carers to researchers and scientists, significant efforts are being put towards caring for those suffering from COVID-19 and preventing the spread of the virus. Amidst the fierce competition to develop vaccines and treatments, there may also be the need to collaborate. As companies develop testing kits, trial drugs, manufacture ventilators, and step up medical supply distribution, they may be concerned about whether their collaboration efforts could draw the scrutiny of competition law enforcers. The European Commission and EU Member State competition authorities have issued a joint statement on the application of competition law during the COVID-19 crisis in the context of the European Competition Network. While there is recognition that in these extraordinary times cooperation may be necessary, the competition rules remain relevant and fully applicable.

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