Pharmaceutical company ruling
Is it legal for pharmaceutical companies to pay generic manufacturers to keep their products off the market? Until now it has been. Brand-name manufacturers have written enormous checks to keep their low-cost generic competitors off the market. That may change, however, after a federal appeals court in Philadelphia ruled that the practice is anticompetitive, a decision that is counter to three previous federal circuit courts rulings. The New York Times cites the example of Bayer Pharmaceuticals which paid generic drug maker Barr Laboratories and other generic houses $400 million to withhold their generic version of ciprofloxacin, their $1 billion a year blockbuster antibiotic. The case could eventually end up at the Supreme Court. At stake is billions of dollars in lost profits for pharmaceutical manufacturers, but an equal amount of savings for Medicare/Medicaid, health plans, and consumers.