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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Brand-name pharmaceutical companies have resumed paying generic drug manufacturers to stay off the market under the terms of some legal settlements, attracting renewed scrutiny from federal regulators, trade officials said Monday.

For the first time since 1999, brand-name and generic drug makers are entering patent challenge agreements under which the latter companies receive compensation in exchange for agreeing to restrictions on their ability to market generic versions of branded drugs.

Consumers usually save money if they can buy generic brands of drugs, which spark price competition. Keeping generic competitors off the market allows brand-name manufacturers to charge premium prices.

Three such settlements were reached in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2005, according to a Federal Trade Commission report issued Monday. Roughly six similar deals have been struck in the months since then, FTC Commissioner Jon Leibowitz said.

Pharmaceutical companies ceased striking such agreements in the late 1990s following several legal challenges mounted by the FTC, Leibowitz said.

Pharmaceutical companies have been emboldened by two recent court decisions that sanctioned those types of settlements, Leibowitz said in remarks prepared for a speech Monday in Philadelphia. The remarks were posted on the FTCs Web site.

"We are seeing far more settlements today that potentially raise competition concerns than before these decisions," Leibowitz said.


Anonymous Danny Haszard said...

Appreciate your blog,mental health consumers are the least capable of self advocacy,my doctors made me take zyprexa for 4 years which was ineffective for my symptoms.I now have a victims support page against Eli Lilly for it's Zyprexa product causing my diabetes.--Daniel Haszard Bangor Maine

5/31/2006 5:34 PM  

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