Economics at the FTC: Pharmaceutical Patent Dispute Settlements and Behavioral Economics

Michael A. Salinger, Pauline M. Ippolito, and Joel L. Schrag

Economics at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) supports both the competition and consumer protection missions of the agency. In this year’'s essay we discuss two issues, one from each of the agency’'s missions. First, we focus on intellectual property issues in pharmaceuticals. Specifically, we discuss the principal rationale for antitrust concerns about certain patent dispute settlements in the ethical drug industry. Then, we discuss consumer economics, our recent behavioral economics conference, and how behavioral economics influences our thinking about consumer policy.