Medical trends: legal services in the field of pharmaceutical and medical law
Trends in legal services in the field of pharmaceutical and medical law by partner Dmytro Aleshko specifically for the national rating “Client's Choice 2019 Top-100 Best Lawyers of Ukraine” from Yurydychna Gazeta.
Legal Alliance Company has been practicing pharmaceutical law for over 15 years. Over the years, we have witnessed the evolution of the legal services market in this area. If in 2007 there were only 2-3 companies practicingpharmaceutical law,after 2010 up to 10 law firms joined the struggle for a pharmaceutical company client.
Today, I can highlight the following trends in legal services in the field of pharmaceutical and medical law for recent years.
The market is growing
Ukraine is an enviable region for many of our neighbors. The pharmaceutical market has shown steady growth of up to 20% per year in monetary terms over the past few years. Given that the national currency is quite stable, such indicators cannot go unnoticed for new players who plan to enter the Ukrainian market.
Pharmaceutical budgets for legal services remain limited
Despite the growth of the pharmaceutical market, pharmaceutical companies are trying to save on legal services. Many are looking for an opportunity to cover most of the issues with the help of inhouse lawyers. They resort to law firms when there is a real problem of a certain degree of complexity or when it is necessary to play safe when making serious decisions.
There is still a tendency for pharmaceutical companies to enter into legal services contracts with several legal advisers at the same time. When a request for legal services arises, a tender is organized between legal advisers. Often tenders are held on small or medium requests, which is extremely inconvenient because it requires considerable time to prepare a proposal.
Large law firms engage in predatory pricing
Several years ago, major players entered the legal services sector in the field of pharmaceutical law. Now quite often our company, which is a highly specialized boutique, participates in tenders with companies from the top ten. Interestingly, we lost one of the tenders to the domestic law firm of the top five, which agreed to represent the interests of the group of companies in an anti-predatory pricing investigation for a nominal price. A similar situation was with a large international company that offered a price 3 times lower than us in a tender for legal services to support approval of the terms of an agreement with a distributor in the AMCU.
I understand that there can be no formal claims to them. This is their price. However, a certain disappointment remained.
Emergence of the market of legal services in the field of medical law
The medical reform led to the fact that large hospitals, which previously had the status of budgetary institutions, have been reorganized into communal non-profit enterprises and gained independence. In fact, they begin to work in market conditions. Obviously, they began to need qualified legal support. In addition, there are quite modern private clinics.
We predict that in the near future lawyers who understand medical law and understand how the system works will become very popular.
Staff shortage continues
Since pharmaceutical and medical law is a rather narrow and specific area, today there are very few specialists on the market who really understand these issues. The only solution which remains is to recruit young and promising people and prepare them for work in this area. If the economy revives and the number of appeals of old and new clients increases, then at some point there will not be enough qualified lawyers in the market who will be able to carry out such work. Then the price of ready-made specialists will be very high.