Africa’s biggest generic drug maker Aspen Pharmacare, already under investigation by European authorities over the price of its cancer drugs, is now under similar scrutiny from SA’s Competition Commission. On Tuesday, the commission announced it was investigating Aspen and multinational pharmaceutical manufacturers Roche and Pfizer for suspected excessive pricing of their cancer drugs. If the Competition Commission’s investigation uncovers abuses, the matter will be referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution. The maximum penalty the tribunal can levy is 10% of annual turnover. Aspen is being investigated for allegedly abusing its dominant market position to charge excessive prices for three cancer drugs — Alkeran, Leukeran and Myleran — which are used for treating leukemia, bone marrow cancer and lymphoma. Roche is in the cross-hairs for the price of its breast cancer drugs Herceptin and Herclon, while Pfizer is to be scrutinised for the price of its lung cancer medicine X...

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