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FTC Study Finds that in FY 2011, Pharmaceutical Industry Continued to Make Numerous Business Deals that Delay Consumers' Access to Lower-Cost Generic Drugs
Date:10/25/2011

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to an overview of industry data released by the staff of the Federal Trade Commission, in Fiscal Year 2011, pharmaceutical companies continued a recent anticompetitive trend of paying potential generic rivals to delay the introduction of lower-cost prescription drug alternatives for American consumers.

The FTC staff report found that drug companies entered into 28 potential pay-for-delay deals in FY 2011 (October 1, 2010, through September 30, 2011).  The figure nearly matches last year's record of 31 deals and is higher than any other previous year since the FTC began collecting data in 2003.   Overall, the agreements reached in the latest fiscal year involved 25 different brand-name pharmaceutical products with combined annual U.S. sales of more than $9 billion.

"While a lot of companies don't engage in pay-for-delay settlements, the ones that do increase prescription drug costs for consumers and the government each year," said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.  "Fortunately, Congress has the opportunity to fix this problem through the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction -- and save the government and American taxpayers billions of dollars."

Generic drugs are the key to making medicines affordable for millions of American consumers, and they also help hold down costs for taxpayer-funded health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.  Generic drug prices are typically at least 20 to 30 percent less than the name-brand drugs, and in some cases are up to 90 percent cheaper.

In recent years, certain brand-name companies have paid or otherwise compensated generic firms to settle their patent challenges and, in turn, delay the introduction of lower-cost medicines.  An FTC staff s
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SOURCE Federal Trade Commission
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