FTC rips deals delaying generics introductions

October 10, 2011

The Federal Trade Commission is levelling sharp criticism at pharmaceutical manufacturers for what it calls sweetheart deals with manufacturers that delay the introduction of low-cost generic drugs.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is levelling sharp criticism at pharmaceutical manufacturers for what it calls sweetheart deals with generic manufacturers that delay the introduction of low-cost generic drugs.

In a study, the commission ripped drug makers for avoiding competition from generics by agreeing not to introduce their own generic versions of a drug if a competing generic drug maker agreed to delay its own version.

"Collusive deals to keep generics off the market are already costing consumers and taxpayers $3.5 billion a year in higher drug prices," said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. "The increasing number of these deals is a win-win proposition for the pharmaceutical industry, but a lose-lose for everyone else."

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America defended the agreements, calling them legal business decisions.