7 January 2013

UK and Irish Authorities clear pharmaceutical sales outsourcing merger

On 21 December 2012 the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) cleared without conditions the acquisition by United Drug of Pharmexx. This decision followed clearance by the Irish Competition Authority (TCA) on 5 November 2012.The acquisition brought together the contract sales organisation (CSO) activities of Pharmexx and United Drug's Ashfield In2focus subsidiary. CSOs supply outsourced sales representatives to pharmaceutical companies, sourcing and employing suitable salespeople to undertake specific promotional projects for clients. An analysis of CSO tender data indicated an absence of product differentiation, low barriers to expansion, and a range of credible rivals. Combined with evidence on the scope for entry and the degree of buyer power held by pharmaceutical companies, the OFT and TCA each concluded that the transaction could not be expected to lessen competition in the supply of CSO services.RBB worked with United Drug and its advisors Eversheds throughout the Irish and UK notifications.

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