Announced Actions for January 9, 2004

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Issuance of staff advisory opinion: Staff of the Commission’s Bureau of Competition has issued an advisory opinion at the request of Dunlap Memorial Hospital (Dunlap) in Orrville, Ohio, addressing whether Dunlap’s provision of pharmaceuticals to the Viola Startzman Free Clinic (Free Clinic) would fall within the scope of the Non-Profit Institutions Act (NPIA). According to the staff letter, Dunlap is a non-profit hospital, and the Free Clinic is a non-profit institution funded entirely by donations, grants, and unpaid services of volunteer physicians that provides free medical care to adults in and around Wayne County, Ohio. Dunlap has asked the FTC staff whether the NPIA would apply to drugs bought by Dunlap and transferred to the Free Clinic, where they would then be dispensed to the Clinic’s patients.

For reasons detailed in the letter, the FTC staff has concluded that the NPIA would apply to pharmaceuticals transferred by Dunlap – at its cost – to the Free Clinic. The NPIA exempts from the Robinson-Patman Act “purchases of their supplies for [the buyer’s] own use by schools, colleges, universities, public libraries, churches, hospitals, and charitable institutions not operated for profit.”

The letter, signed by Jeffrey W. Brennan, Assistant Director of the Health Care Products and Services Division of the Bureau of Competition, is available on the FTC’s Web site. (Staff contact is Judith A. Moreland, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2776.)

Commission approval of final consent order: Following a public comment period, the Commission has approved a modified final consent order in the matter concerning DSM N.V./Roche Holding AG and Koninklijke DSM N.V., et al. The modification, made to clarify the final order, ensures that Section II.F.8 reflects the true and original intent of the provision and serves to conform the order to the corresponding language in the underlying divestiture contract between DSM and BASF. The Commission vote to approve the modified order was 5-0. (FTC File No. 031-0064, Docket No. C-4098; staff contact is Jeffrey Perry, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2331; see press release dated September 23, 2003.)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

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