WILMINGTON, Del. (Legal Newsline) —The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Feb. 7 the filing of a complaint against Shire ViroPharma Inc. in federal district court.
The FTC alleges the defendants violated antitrust laws by abusing government processes to delay generic competition to its branded prescription drug, Vancocin HCl capsules.
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has a practice where it refrains from approving generic applications of a drug if there are any pending citizen petition filings. ViroPharma purportedly used this to its advantage and submitted 43 filings with the FDA to delay the process for generic versions of its drug.
“I have long advocated that the commission target abuses of government processes that significantly harm competition and consumers. The commission’s action is another example of this ongoing commitment,” said FTC acting chairwoman Maureen K. Ohlhausen.
“Generic medications can save consumers millions of dollars. When we have reason to believe that a branded drug company misuses government processes to unlawfully maintain a monopoly by delaying generic entry, the FTC will act to protect competition.”
The FTC voted 3-0 to file the complaint, which was placed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.