Justice Department Issues Business Review Letter to AmerisourceBergen Supporting Distribution of Critical Medicines Under Expedited Procedure for COVID-19 Pandemic Response
The Department of Justice announced today that it will not challenge collaborative efforts of AmerisourceBergen Corporation (AmerisourceBergen) to identify global supply opportunities, ensure product quality, and facilitate product distribution of medications and other healthcare supplies to treat COVID-19 patients.
AmerisourceBergen’s collaborative efforts form yet another part of the emergency response developed and led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to address urgent supply needs across the nation arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We commend AmerisourceBergen’s efforts to assist the United States in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic through improved supply of medicines to those most in need,” stated Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the department’s Antitrust Division. “We also appreciate AmerisourceBergen’s intention to comply with the antitrust laws, regardless of circumstances. Division staff worked expeditiously to resolve its request for a Business Review Letter within our ambitious seven-day target.”
AmerisourceBergen is working on a number of initiatives under the direction of the government to help resolve supply challenges presented by the pandemic. These initiatives are focused on facilitating the government’s efforts to guide medications and other healthcare supplies to the places where they are needed most. This includes the distribution of hydroxychloroquine from the government’s Strategic National Stockpile to health care providers in areas of greatest need. AmerisourceBergen is instructed on volumes and ship-to destinations, and then leverages its distribution network. AmerisourceBergen’s conduct falls within the same emergency response efforts that dictated the Medical Supplies Distributors’ conduct evaluated in a previous Business Review Letter. The response, therefore, leverages the same analytical framework.
AmerisourceBergen submitted its business review request pursuant to the expedited, temporary review procedure detailed in the Joint Antitrust Statement Regarding COVID-19 (Joint Statement) issued by both the department and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on March 24, 2020. In the Joint Statement, the department announced its aim to resolve COVID-19-related business review requests within seven calendar days of receiving all necessary information.
Copies of the business review request and the department’s response are available on the Antitrust Division’s website at https://www.justice.gov/atr/business-review-letters-and-request-letters, as well as in a file maintained by the Antitrust Documents Group of the Antitrust Division. After a 30-day waiting period, any documents supporting the business review will be added to the file, unless a basis for their exclusion for reasons of confidentiality has been established under the business review procedure. Supporting documents in the file will be maintained for a period of one year, and copies will be available upon request to the FOIA/Privacy Act Unit, Antitrust Documents Group at email@example.com.