U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly yesterday entered a final order settling the Federal Trade Commission’s charges that drug company Warner Chilcott’s agreement with Barr Laboratories unlawfully delayed entry of Barr’s generic version of Warner Chilcott’s Ovcon birth control pill.
As a result of the settlement, Warner Chilcott must: 1) refrain from entering into agreements with generic pharmaceutical companies in which the generic agrees not to compete with Warner Chilcott and there is either a supply agreement between the parties or Warner Chilcott provides the generic with anything of value and the agreement adversely effects competition; 2) notify the FTC whenever it enters into supply or other agreements with generic pharmaceutical companies; and 3) for three months, take interim steps to preserve the market for the tablet form of Ovcon in order to provide Barr the opportunity to compete with its generic version. In addition to the elements discussed above, the final order contains standard reporting requirements to ensure that Warner Chilcott complies with its terms. The order will expire in 10 years.
Entry of the final order is the latest development arising from the FTC’s action in this matter. Last month, under threat of a preliminary injunction sought by the FTC, Warner Chilcott abandoned the portion of its agreement with Barr that prevented Barr from bringing a generic version of Ovcon to the market. The next day, Barr announced that it would begin selling generic Ovcon tablets in the United States. As a result of the FTC’s actions, women taking Ovcon now have a lower-cost generic version of the product that was launched last week.
The Commission vote approving the proposed settlement and authorizing the staff to file it with the court was 5-0. It was filed under seal on October 20, 2006, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and was signed by the judge and entered by the court yesterday. The settlement is posted on the FTC’s Web as a link to this press release. The Commission will continue to vigorously prosecute its case against Barr.
The FTC’s Bureau of Competition, in conjunction with the Bureau of Economics, seeks to prevent business practices that restrain competition. The Bureau carries out its mission by investigating alleged law violations and, when appropriate, recommending that the Commission take formal enforcement action. To notify the Bureau concerning particular business practices, call or write the Office of Policy and Coordination, Room 394, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, DC 20580, Electronic Mail: email@example.com; Telephone (202) 326-3300. For more information on the laws that the Bureau enforces, the Commission has published “Promoting Competition, Protecting Consumers: A Plain English Guide to Antitrust Laws,” which can be accessed at http://www.ftc.gov/bc/compguide/index.htm.
(FTC File No. 041-0034; Civ. No 1:05-cv-0219-CKK)