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Department of Health to set up £2m pa legal panel for disputes with pharma industry

The Department of Health is to hold a supplier information day as part of plans to establish a panel of law firms to advise on civil litigation, arbitration and mediation with companies in the pharmaceutical industry.

“The requirement will be for the provision of exploratory legal and professional advice, market structure analysis (incorporating financial analysis) and representation within civil proceedings,” the Department said.

“The scope of civil proceedings may include but shall not be limited to investigation into deceit, anti-competitive agreements, patent infringement and the abuse of dominant market positions by companies.”

The Department said the procurement would relate to legal services within the meaning of Schedule 3 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. “Given that the procurement process will relate to 'social and other specific services' only, it will be subject to limited regulation and accordingly will be conducted in accordance with Regulations 74 to 76 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.”

The supplier engagement day will be held with interested organisations on 12 January 2017. The Department said the purpose of the day was to engage with service providers to provide an opportunity to: (1) obtain a clear understanding of what business outcomes the Department of Health requires and ask questions regarding the proposed scope of work; and (2) obtain market views on how to structure the requirement to enable DH to maximise market interest, innovation and value for money.

A draft outline specification suggests that up to three providers could be appointed to the framework, which is worth an estimated £2m per annum and is expected to last a maximum of four years. The Department is to retain the option to instruct the Government Legal Department in respect of certain cases.

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