Chirping birds, babbling brooks, soft rain showers, and children gleefully playing outdoors – these sounds of spring bring us joy, especially after a long winter. But for the millions of Americans who have hearing loss, full enjoyment of these and other everyday sounds can be out of reach. Others might benefit from listening assistance in certain situations, such as in a noisy restaurant or while watching TV. For too many, even participation in a simple conversation can be difficult.
Blog Posts Tagged with Health Care
Yesterday, I spoke to a group of antitrust practitioners and those involved in healthcare policy at AAI’s Healthcare Roundtable, where I discussed past and present FTC work to promote competition in healthcare markets.
More than 40 million U.S. consumers benefit from contact lens competition. Demand for contact lenses has been growing over the past decade, and there are more places for consumers to shop for contact lenses and refill their prescriptions – in-person from eye-care providers, optical chains, and wholesale clubs, and on-line as well. Innovation has improved the comfort and convenience of contact lenses, and many people have switched from one-year lenses to daily disposable lenses.
Now available on the FTC website: the Bureau of Competition’s Health Care Division has posted updated versions of our three overviews of FTC enforcement actions and policy work in the health care sector undertaken across the Bureau. Together, these documents contain hundreds of pages of detailed summaries of four decades of FTC efforts to promote competition in healthcare markets – which make them invaluable resources for health care antitrust practitioners, market participants, and other stakeholders.
For more than 15 years, one of the FTC’s top priorities has been to put an end to anticompetitive reverse-payment settlements between brand-name drug makers and their potential generic rivals. In our view, these settlements are anticompetitive agreements not to compete in which the brand pays the generic to refrain from marketing a lower cost, generic product for a period of time.
There is a basic but important difference between antitrust cases brought by the government and those brought by private parties: All plaintiffs, including government enforcers like the FTC, must prove an antitrust violation, which requires showing harm to competition. But private plaintiffs must make an additional showing: to establish antitrust ‘standing,’ private plaintiffs must prove that the antitrust violation caused harm to them.
Since 2004, brand-name and generic drug manufacturers have filed certain agreements with the FTC and DOJ as required by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act (also known as MMA filings).
In a variety of industries, the FTC advocates for policies that promote competition. Why? Because studies show competition works, for our citizens and for our economy. Competition typically improves consumer welfare through lower prices, expanded output, better service and more innovation.
Is more information about prices always a good thing for consumers and competition? Too much transparency can harm competition in any market, including in health care markets.
Consumers frequently contact the Bureau of Competition to alert us that the cost of a prescription drug suddenly spiked up, and ask if the FTC can take antitrust action to bring the price back down. The answer in a nutshell is that it depends on the reason for the price change.
In recent investigations of hospital mergers, the merging parties often make the argument that the acquired firm is flailing, if not outright failing. Thus, the argument goes, the transaction is necessary to keep the acquired hospital in operation. But courts have set stringent requirements for meeting the failing firm defense, and as set out in the Horizontal Merger Guidelines §11, a company can assert what is known as a “failing firm” defense only if
Yesterday, the Supreme Court affirmed the Fourth Circuit’s decision to uphold the FTC’s order against the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners In a tour-de-force opinion laying out the proper scope of the state action doctrine first articulated in Parker v.
Reminder: your appointment is coming up soon! Staff of the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division just posted the agenda for next week’s two-day health care workshop. One look, and you won’t need a second opinion – you definitely will want to attend.
The Ninth Circuit today affirmed the district court’s ruling that the merger of St. Luke’s Health Systems, Ltd. and Saltzer Medical Group violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Nearly two years ago, the Commission and the State of Idaho filed a complaint in federal court alleging that the combination of St.
Take a deep breath and hold it. Release. Now open your mouth and say, “aaahhh.”
Just as it is prudent to have your health examined regularly by professionals, we believe it is wise to periodically examine the competitive dynamics in the ever-evolving health care marketplace, a critical sector of the American economy.
The FTC has been a consistent proponent of competition in health care markets, utilizing our full range of study, advocacy, and enforcement tools. We are equally proud of our track record in promoting innovation and responding to new technological developments throughout our 100-year history.
In recent years, the U.S. health care sector has seen numerous innovations in the way care is organized and reimbursed (e.g., accountable care organizations, bundled payments, etc.), all with the goal of reducing expenditures and improving quality. One innovation that has received a great deal of attention recently is reference pricing.
It is a time of unprecedented change in the way health care services are provided and paid for in this country. As with other sectors of our economy that have experienced dramatic change, industry participants are reacting by developing new models, learning from their experiences, and adopting best practices.
Tomorrow and Friday, March 20-21, the FTC will host a two-day public workshop to examine evolving activities and trends that may be affecting competition in the health care industry.