The European Commission has confirmed conducting raids on several European pharmaceutical giants over suspected EU competition violations.

The raids, which took place on 6 October, involved inspections at the premises of certain companies suspected of abusing their positions to delay the introduction of new and generic drugs to market.

France’s Sanofi-Aventis confirmed that it was one of the targeted companies and releases a statement saying it would co-operate with the commission.

Switzerland’s Novartis also confirmed that the commission had visited the offices of its Sandoz generics unit and Teva Pharmaceuticals also confirmed a raid on its Paris offices.

The raids come after a July report by the European Commission, which found that generic drugmakers face serious delays in getting medicines to market, often because of stalling tactics employed by big pharmaceutical companies.

The UK’s GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca said they were not aware of any raids, as did Switzerland’s Roche, Germany’s Merck KGaA and Denmark’s Novo Nordisk.