Statement by Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Ruling in the K-Dur 20 Matter

For Release

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz issued the following statement regarding a key ruling issued today by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit regarding patent settlements between branded and generic manufacturers of the high blood pressure medication K-Dur 20:

"The Third Circuit Court of Appeals seems to have gotten it just right: These sweetheart deals are presumptively anticompetitive. As our Bureau of Economics has estimated, they cost American consumers $3.5 billion a year in higher health care costs. Restricting these arrangements, as many in Congress have proposed, would reduce federal government debt by $5 billion over 10 years, according the Congressional Budget Office. It's time for the pharmaceutical companies to return to the side of consumers."

The Appeals Court reversed the decision of a district court, which had dismissed a private lawsuit challenging the legality of the K-Dur patent settlements. In the ruling, the Appeals Court held that a reverse payment from a branded drug manufacturer to a generic competitor is "prima facie evidence of an unreasonable restraint of trade."

The FTC filed an amicus brief last year urging the Third Circuit to reverse the district court's K-Dur decision, arguing that the district court's analysis conflicted with basic antitrust principles, as well as patent law and the policies of the Hatch-Waxman Act.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

Office of Public Affairs