As posted here last week, the FTC's Chairman Jon Leibowitz is up in arms over an increase in so-called pay for delay deals between innovator drug companies and generic competitors.
Leibowitz says the number of deals increased 63% (from 19 to 31) and involved 22 products with sales of more then $9.3 billion. He said the deals " are outrageous and they harm consumers. Either the courts or Congress needs to stop them." The FTC has long contended the deals are anticompetitive and violate antitrust law. Leibowitz aslo says the deals add $3.5 billion to consumer's drug costs.
Lobbyists for the drug companies say the deals cut legal costs and avoid long court battles. In some cases, the settlement may avoid years of patent litigation and bring a generic drug to marker sooner. The deals don't prevent competition beyond a patent's life says a spokesman for the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPA).
"The FTC is continuing to perpetuate the myth that pro-competitive, pro-consumer patent settlements are harmful to consumers," said David Belian, a GPA spokesman.
Posted by Bruce Lehr May 10th 2011.