CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre advises pharmaceutical companies Bristol-Meyers-Squibb and GlaxoSmithkline as to reimbursement of tax payments amounting to several million euros from French social security contributions agency URSAFF
By three judgments given on Thursday 2 September, the Versailles court of appeal has ordered URSAFF to reimburse tax paid by pharmaceutical companies Bristol-Myers-Squibb, GlaxoSmithkline and Boiron.
The sums to be reimbursed amount to 12.3, 5.7 and 11.2 million euros respectively, to which interest of several million euros is to be added.
The tax was imposed between 1 January 1998 and 31 December 2002, on pharmaceutical companies alone, in respect of sales they made directly to pharmacies. Sales within the competing wholesaler-distributor channel were exempt.
As the tax was payable only in respect of the direct pharmaceutical company sales channel, and the wholesaler-distributor sales channel was exempt, the pharmaceutical companies argued in support of their claim to reimbursement that the resulting system should be regarded as unlawful State Aid, granted to wholesaler-distributors in contravention of European State Aid rules.
This is the argument which, after several judicial peregrinations, including no less than two references to the Court of Justice in Luxembourg, the Versailles court of appeal has now approved.
In these matters, pharmaceutical companies Bristol-Meyers-Squibb and GlaxoSmithkline were advised by CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre, through Bernard Geneste, partner and Claire Vannini, associate.
For further information, please contact :
CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre
Florence Jouffroy / Tel: +33 1 47 38 40 32
Laetitia Mostowski / Tel: +33 1 47 38 40 74