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U.S. Supreme Court to determine if brand-name drug companies can pay generic drug companies to keep their products off the market


This news story was published on December 11, 2012.
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U.S. Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made the following comment after the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that will determine if brand-name drug companies can pay generic drug companies to keep their products off the market.

Grassley, along with Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, has legislation that would deter “pay-for-delay” settlements in which brand name drug companies settle patent disputes by paying generic drug manufacturers in exchange for the promise of delaying the release of the generic version of a drug into the market. Under the legislation, these anti-consumer pay-off agreements would be presumed illegal and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would have the authority to invalidate the agreements.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the Preserve Access to Affordable Generic Drugs Act (S. 27) would accelerate the availability of lower-priced generic drugs and generate $4.785 billion in budget savings between fiscal years 2012 and 2021. CBO also estimates that earlier entry of generic drugs affected by the bill would reduce total drug expenditures in the U.S. by roughly $11 billion over the decade.

“Pay-for-delay settlements between brand name and generic drug companies hurt consumers who don’t have access to affordable medications, and they hurt taxpayers who pay for prescription drugs for federal health care programs.  The delays put the interests of drug companies above the interests of consumers.  The Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case is a positive step, and in the meantime I’ll continue to press for our legislation.”

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11 Responses to U.S. Supreme Court to determine if brand-name drug companies can pay generic drug companies to keep their products off the market

  1. Avatar

    Druggie Reply Report comment

    December 11, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    The reason drug companies want to retain their brand in the market is because they need to recoup the costs that go into the research and development of the drugs. You have to understand just how much money is poured into research that never results in drugs that make it to market. Also, the testing and approval process with the FDA is painstaking and expensive to undertake. The length of time a drug is under patent is sometimes not long enough for the drug companies to recoup their costs. And now the drug companies will have to pay a premium to the government for every brand name drug they sell, costing taxpayers even more. It will drive up the cost of new drugs even more for the short term they have a patent on them. And yes, drug companies make a lot of money, but they need a lot of profit to keep researching new drugs and treatments.

    • Avatar

      a citizen Reply Report comment

      December 12, 2012 at 12:56 am

      A well written, fact based article.

      • Avatar

        Observer Reply Report comment

        December 12, 2012 at 6:02 am

        I second the motion. Without the ability to recoup their investment, the products which are a result of R&D, simply would not exist.

  2. Avatar

    a citizen Reply Report comment

    December 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Companies are in business to make money. If they can earn more money by keeping their product off the market then by selling it, that is just good businessmanship. Just because people do not like it should not make it wrong.

    • Avatar

      50 miles south Reply Report comment

      December 11, 2012 at 10:37 pm

      im going to buy all the gas stations in your area and raise the price per gallon to $20 a gallon. do you get it now? Gas prices are the one thing that I blame for the delema we are in today. gas prices at the pump being so high, when the barrel price is basicly low, means that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. far to many company executives want to live it up and retire at a young age. this is driving a wedge in the status of americans. soon there will be NO middle class. NOBODY NEEDS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN BONUSES

      • Avatar

        a citizen Reply Report comment

        December 12, 2012 at 12:55 am

        If you want to blame gas prices, fine with me. Everybody has to blame someone or something. And as for company exec. living it up and wanting to retire at a young age? Gov and society have allowed that to happen, so we only have ourselves to blame. And if you are not happy with the gas prices, do not buy gas. And you are right, no one needs millions of dollars in bonuses, but as long as we continue to buy products we need and want so much, we will only have ourselves to blame. So ask yourself, where does the fault really lie?

      • Avatar

        50 miles south Reply Report comment

        December 12, 2012 at 9:33 am

        your wrong on a few points. Gov and (high) society are to blame. the majority of the people (i would assume) are working class people that do not benifit from those bonuses, perks, whatever. and as for the comment about not buying gas. the working people in this country need that gas to get to work, so they can make enough buisness profits for those damn bonuses and overpaid wages. My own buisness is directly effected by the high gas prices. I too am working my ass off just to make less and less money because of it. food, computers, tvs, ect have gone up in price because of the price of shipping. the computer you are using has plastic, as does many items in anyones house. gas and plastic are petrolium products. so in effect, you can put a large blame on oil.

  3. Avatar

    Katie Reply Report comment

    December 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Kudos to Chuck for this step in the right direction.

  4. Avatar

    Dave Reply Report comment

    December 11, 2012 at 10:13 am

    This is Washingtons way of eliminating the poor people.

  5. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    December 11, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Anything for the dollar and to hell with the people.

  6. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 11, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Payoffs! – Hmmmmmm – did theyn get this idea from the lobbyists in DC ???? Tar and feathers for all !