Commission Announces Issuance of Information Requests to Generic and Authorized Generic Drug Companies; FTC Approves Proposed Divestiture in Matter of SCI and Alderwoods Group; Commission Approves Proposed Divestiture in Matter of Kyphon, Inc.

For Your Information

Commission issuance of information requests: The Commission has issued information requests to generic and authorized generic drug manufacturers and marketers as part of its ongoing study of the short- and long-term effects of authorized generics on pharmaceutical drug competition. The current set of information requests follows the issuance of corresponding information requests to branded drug companies.

A Federal Register notice published on May 4, 2007, explains that the likely effects of marketing authorized generic drugs, by or on behalf of branded producers, have been the subject of considerable debate. “In the short run, the entry of an authorized generic drug may benefit consumers by creating additional competition that lowers generic prices.” But, the notice explains, many generic producers contend that “in the long run, consumers will be harmed because an expectation of competition from authorized generics will significantly decrease the incentives of generic manufacturers to pursue entry prior to patent expiration.” The Commission’s study is an effort to gather information needed to analyze these effects.

The Web site http://www.ftc.gov/os/comments/genericdrugstudy3/index.shtm contains model information request forms that have been approved pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act. (FTC File No. P062105; the staff contact is William E. Cohen, Office of the General Counsel, 202-326-2110; see press release dated April 30, 2007).

Commission approval of proposed divestitures: The Commission has approved a petition from Service Corporation International (SCI) and Alderwoods Group, Inc. seeking approval of a proposed divestiture related to SCI’s recent acquisition of Alderwoods. In the FTC’s consent agreement and order allowing the transaction to proceed with conditions, SCI and Alderwoods were required to divest a range of funeral home and cemetery services companies. Through this petition, a public version of which can be found on the Commission’s Web site as a link to this press release, the companies requested approval to divest the Holder Wells Funeral Home in Moss Point, Mississippi, to Kent Care, LLC. The Commission has now approved that petition.

The Commission vote approving the proposed divestiture was 5-0. (FTC File No. 061-0156, Docket No. C-4174; the staff contact is Elizabeth A. Piotrowski, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2623; see press release dated November 22, 2006.)

The Commission has approved a petition from Kyphon, Inc. regarding a proposed divestiture related to its recent acquisition of certain assets from Disc-O-Tech Medical Technologies, Ltd. and Discotech Orthopedic Technologies, Inc. (collectively Disc-O-Tech). The divestiture is required under an FTC decision and order announced in October 2007, alleging the transaction as proposed would substantially reduce competition in the U.S. market for minimally invasive vertebral compression fracture treatment products. As detailed in the petition, a public copy of which can be found on the FTC’s Web site as a link to this press release, Kyphon requested approval to divest the Confidence Assets, as that term is defined in the decision and order, to DePuy Spine, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company.

By a vote of 3-0, with Commissioners Pamela Jones Harbour and William E. Kovacic recused, the FTC has now approved that request. (FTC File No. 071-0101, Docket No. C-4201; the staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2526; see press release dated October 9, 2007.)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

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