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French Constitutional Council censors National Assembly’s ‘historic’ amendment on transparency

21 February 2020

On 20 December 2019, the French Constitutional Council issued a decision to censor, among other things, a historic amendment to the 2020 Social Security Financing Bill on transparency of medicinal product pricing and public contribution in research and development (R&D).

Accordingly, the amendments requiring pharmaceutical companies to publicly disclose any public R&D contributions they have received during the development of a medicinal product, that should be taken into consideration when negotiating the price of the medicinal product with the relevant pharmaceutical companies, were removed from the law.

In its decision, the French Constitutional Council ruled that such amendment was introduced in a new reading in the National Assembly and was not, at this stage of the procedure, directly related to a provision still under discussion, nor was it intended to: (i) ensure compliance with the Constitution; (ii) coordinate with texts under consideration; or (iii) correct a material error. The Council concluded that the amendment was adopted according to a procedure that was contrary to the Constitution, therefore contrary to the Constitution itself and should be censored.

Following the decision, the 2020 Social Security Financing Law was enacted without such provisions.

This article was co-authored by Alexis Vaujany.

A prior version of this post was originally published by the same authors in Practical Law – Life Sciences, February 2020 Issue (Thomson Reuters).