Wednesday, September 06, 2006, 1:10 PM

FTC To Keep Fighting Generic Settlements

In an interview with the Associated Press (available here), FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras said that despite some setbacks in court, the FTC is "not walking away" from its efforts to prevent drug companies from entering into settlement agreements with generic competitors which the FTC believes are anticompetitive. These "reverse payment" settlement agreements have been the subject of much debate in antitrust circles (and have been the subject of previous posts in this blog). The FTC recently lost its attempt to seek review of the 11th Circuit's decision in Schering-Plough when the Supreme Court denied its petition for cert. Majoras said that the drug companies are not especially worried about the FTC threat because they continue to negotiate new patent settlement agreements, but "they do so at their own peril." Majoras said she is concerned that there will be even more reverse payment settlements in the future because numerous blockbuster drugs are set to lose patent protection soon. It is estimated that in the next four years, drugs with combined sales of $48 billion will lose patent protection, according to Medco Health Solutions, Inc.


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