Relevant Cases

 in disguise

Regulation in disguise

At the beginning of May, 2010, the Kingdom of Spain had severe difficulties for placing its sovereign debt issues in the international financial markets, which prompted every alert… A few days later, the Zapatero Administration openly recognized the crisis and undertook the reduction of public spending through the famous Royal decree 8/2010, freezing pensions, reducing public employees remuneration… and imposing a 7.5% deduction on those drugs excluded from the benchmark price system (those with a patent) when their dispensing is funded by the National Health System.

In order for laboratories, distributors and pharmacy offices to implement this deduction, the General Director for Pharmacy addressed a series of “Order-Letters” to the agents of the pharmaceutical sector on the characteristics of the procedures to be followed. The pharmacists’ federation, Federación Empresarial de Farmacéuticos Españoles (FEFE) considered this procedure to be prejudicial to the pharmacists’ interests.

FEFE, advised and represented by López Rodó & Cruz Ferrer Abogados, decided to contest these “Instructions-Letters”. The Supreme Court Judgment of June 12, 2015, Appeal for reversal 2831/2013, incorporated the theory of the case and declared that these Letters were actually general dispositions or regulations, which skipped the procedures and guarantees required when exercising regulatory power, and thus, it annulled them.
This forced the Health Ministry to prepare new regulation incorporating the necessary guarantees.