Statement by FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz Regarding Senate Judiciary Committee Mark-up of Legislation Stopping Illegal Pay-for-Delay Drug Settlements

For Release

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz issued the following statement today regarding the mark-up of legislation to stop anticompetitive drug patent settlements (S.27, Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act (sponsored by Sens. Kohl [WI], Grassley [IA], Brown [OH], Collins [ME], Durbin [IL], Franken [MN], Johnson [SD], Klobuchar [MN], and Sanders [VT]) in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“In the midst of all the Congressional work to reduce the nation’s deficits, I think it’s especially commendable that the Senate Judiciary Committee passed legislation that would put an end to the collusive pay-for-delay deals to keep generics off the market, which cost consumers – including taxpayers – $3.5 billion a year in higher drug prices. Further, ending these sweetheart deals would save the government billions of dollars by reducing the cost of prescription drugs the government pays through programs such as Medicare Part D and others.”

FTC staff found that the number of these deals skyrocketed more than 60 percent in FY 2010, from 19 in FY 2009 to 31. The increasing number of these deals is a win-win proposition for the pharmaceutical industry, and leaves consumers to dig deeper into their household budgets to pay for prescription drugs. The Committee action builds on the President’s resolute support for this bipartisan initiative.”

(PFD Mark-up Statement)

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