FTC announces report that shows fewer pharmaceutical patent disputes in fiscal year 2014

By Mark Iandolo | Jan 14, 2016

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – The Federal Trade Commission released a new report that shows that pharmaceutical companies have entered into considerably fewer potential pay-for-delay patent dispute settlements in fiscal year 2014.

Patent settlements can arise between brands and generic drug companies. The FTC reports that generic drugs often cost less than brand names, which make them more affordable for millions of American consumers. They help to keep health care costs down, the FTC states.

“Consumers are better off when there is more competition from lower-priced generic medicines,” Debbie Feinstein, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, said. “So although it is too soon to know if these are lasting trends, it is encouraging to see a significant decline in the number of reverse payment settlements.”

The report, which summarizes data on patent settlements, shows that the number of these potentially anti-competitive deals has lowered since the U.S. Supreme Court’s antitrust decision in FTC v. Actavis in 2013. The number of deals filed with the FTC went from 40 in fiscal year 2012 to 29 in fiscal year 2013 and 21 in fiscal year 2014.

The 21 settlements in fiscal year 2014 involve 20 branded pharmaceutical products that combine for more than $6.2 billion in annual sales.

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