AMA Joins Consumer Groups to Ask U.S. Supreme Court to Ban “Pay-for-Delay” Deals by Drug Companies

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on March 25 for an important case involving consumer rights to generic drugs.

At stake is the lucrative “pay-for-delay” deals that pharmaceutical companies negotiate amongst themselves that keep less expensive generic drugs off the market and in my opinion are simple restraint-of-trade agreements.

The American Medical Association has now joined the Federal Trade Commission, AARP, the National Legislative Association and U.S. Public Interest Research Groups in a friend-of-the-court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to ban and make illegal anti-competitive agreements.

The case being heard is FTC v. Watson Pharmaceuticals. It arose when Watson Pharmaceutics, Inc. and Par Pharmaceuticals filed lawsuits against Solvay Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Abbott Laboratories, with respect to Solvay’s topical synthetic testosterone called AndroGel. In settling the lawsuit, Solvay not only agreed to pay Watson and Par $42 million to settle the case but to also keep generic versions of Androgel off-market until 2015. 

In a press release, AMA President Dr. Jeremy Lazarus stated that “The AMA believes that pay-for-delay agreements undermine the balance between spurring innovation through the patent system and fostering competition through the development of generic drugs.”

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Monique Bryher | Broker-Associate/Realtor® | A Specialty Real Estate Practice | | 818-430-6705

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