Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz issued the following statement regarding today’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which invited the plaintiffs in the Ciprofloxacin drug patent settlement case to seek further review by the full court of appeals because of the “exceptional importance” of the antitrust implications of pay-for-delay settlements:
“This is further evidence that courts are rethinking their approach to pay-for-delay settlements, which cost American consumers $3.5 billion a year in higher prescription drug prices. Hopefully, the courts will put an end to these deals. In the meantime, the FTC will continue to explain, in court and in the halls of Congress, why these sweetheart deals for drug companies are such a bad deal for American consumers and taxpayers,” Leibowitz said.
In “pay-for-delay” settlements, manufacturers of brand-name drugs pay potential generic competitors to stay off the market. The FTC has filed a number of lawsuits opposing these anticompetitive deals, and the agency supports legislation in Congress that would prohibit them.