Posts Tagged: "generic drugs"

Supremes Say Reverse Payments May Be Antitrust Violation

On Monday, June 17, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision on so-called “reverse payments.” This decision will impact how brand name drug companies and generics enter into patent settlements to resolve pending patent litigation. In a nutshell, speaking for the majority, Justice Breyer wrote that there is no valid reason for the FTC to be denied the opportunity to pursue reverse payments as an antitrust violation. Breyer, who was joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsberg, Kagan, and Sotomayor, determined that reviewing courts should apply the rule of reason when determining whether reverse payments violate antitrust law.

Integrating the Federal R&D System into the Economy

We have made significant strides over the past 30 years through laws like the Bayh-Dole Act, the Federal Technology Transfer Act, and supporting Executive Orders leading to the creation of 9,000 new companies around university inventions, the development of 153 new drugs from federal funding now protecting public health world-wide, the leadership of the U.S. biotechnology industry, the addition of $836 billion to our gross domestic product supporting 3 million good jobs from university patent licensing between 1996-2012, etc. Still as far as we have come, it’s clear that we could be doing even more to reward the hard earned taxpayer dollars spent on public R&D.

Ranbaxy Fined, J&J Tylenol Scandal, Bayer Sued Over Vitamins

Once again, a plethora of interesting events has occurred since the last time we stopped by. What was the biggest headline? That decision may be up for grabs, but certainly, the $500 million penalty paid by Ranbaxy Laboratories is high on the list. In other news, yet another Johnson & Johnson manufacturing scandal has erupted, this time in South Korea, where the authorities plan to bring criminal charges against its Janssen unit and ban production of five products – notably, a type of Children’s Tylenol. A non-profit group put Bayer on notice that a lawsuit will be filed charging the drugmaker with making “unsubstantiated and illegal claims” about the ability of its One-A-Day vitamin to prevent various disease, such as breast cancer, bolster physical energy and improve immunity, among other things.

A Primer on Paragraph IV Certifications: Into the Belly of the Hatch-Waxman Beast Part 1

In a moment of extreme weakness, I agreed to Gene’s request to doing a primer on Paragraph IV Certifications under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act, commonly referred to as Hatch-Waxman. I don’t know if you would call me an expert, but I’ve studied many, many cases involving Paragraph IV Certifications under Hatch-Waxman. The courts have found Hatch-Waxman to be a hydra-like monster with a labyrinth of sections that are frequently confusing (or worse yet, conflicting). Paragraph IV Certifications are a particular trouble spot in Hatch-Waxman. So if you’re up to diving into the “belly of this beast,” let’s examine the characteristics of this most infamous of the Hatch-Waxman monsters. To understand Paragraph IV Certifications, you must first address what an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) is. ANDAs are how generic drug manufactures expedite the approval of their generic drugs.

Jeopardizing U.S. Drug Development

Senator Ron Wyden (D- OR) is a man with an idea for lowering health care costs. Unfortunately, it’s an idea which proved disastrous the last time it was forced on the National Institutes of Health. But that hasn’t dissuaded the Senator from trotting it out again. He seems sincere in his concern with the ever escalating costs of medicine. Unfortunately, his proposed solution empowering the government bureaucracy to second guess industry drug pricing decisions simply because they worked with NIH would make things worse. We could see fewer new drugs at any price.

FTC Amicus Brief: Improper Use of Restricted Drug Distribution Programs May Impede Generic Competition

Among other claims, the generic firms allege that Actelion’s conduct violates the federal antitrust laws. Actelion seeks a broad declaration that it is under “no duty or obligation” to sell its products to potential competitors. Although Actelion contends that its distribution restrictions are required by the FDA, it argues that its right to refuse to sell to the generic firms is nearly absolute and would apply even without any FDA mandate. The FTC’s amicus brief explains that Actelion’s legal position, if adopted by the court, could pose a significant threat to competition in the pharmaceutical industry.

In FY 2012, Branded Drug Firms Increased the Use of Pay-for-Delay Settlements to Keep Generic Competitors off the Market

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, the number of potentially anticompetitive patent dispute settlements between branded and generic drug companies increased significantly compared with FY 2011, jumping from 28 to 40, according to a new Federal Trade Commission staff report. The study also found that in nearly half of these settlements, branded firms may have used the promise that they would not develop or market an authorized generic (AG) as a payment to stall generic drug firms from marketing a competing product.

Pharma Law and Business – A Monthly Roundup for January 2013

Not surprisingly, 2013 began with a predictable rush of interesting news. So here are some of the most recent highlights, from court rulings and medical study findings to FDA doings and steps taken to developed new parameters for prescribing and clinical trials in various places. The Obama administration again missed a deadline for releasing much-anticipated Sunshine guidelines for industry transparency. The year also began with the usual anticipation surrounding the annual JP Morgan Healthcare conference. Meanwhile, a research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine caused a stir after finding that 43 percent of doctors in practice more than 30 years acknowledged they sometimes or often acquiesce to patients who pester them for – or even demand – brand-name drugs.

Supreme Court Agrees To Tackle Drug Patent Settlements

In the past several years, the Second, Eleventh, and Federal Circuits have upheld these settlements (known as “reverse payment” agreements since the money flows from the patentee to the alleged infringer rather than the other way around). These courts have focused on the benefits of settling cases and the presumption of patent validity, and they have explained that payments fall within the “scope of the patent.” In contrast, the Third Circuit recently applied more aggressive scrutiny, rejecting the scope test and finding that payments for delay were “prima facie evidence of an unreasonable restraint of trade.”

FTC Says Brand Name Drug Redesign Violates Antitrust Law

Not only is the FTC arguing that product changes to patented drugs violate U.S. antitrust laws, but the FTC and Department of Justice (DOJ) are going to look into whether patent enforcement activities that seek redress for infringement violate U.S. antitrust laws. See FTC, DOJ to Hold Workshop on Patent Assertion Entities. This does not bode well for a second Obama term, and I have to wonder whether those in the patent community that decided to vote for President Obama due to his perceived friendliness to patents and smooth running of the Patent Office are going to start to have regrets, particularly now that David Kappos is leaving the USPTO.

Companies Agree to Sell Rights to 18 Drugs to Satisfy FTC

The Federal Trade Commission will require Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Actavis Inc. to sell the rights and assets to 18 drugs to Sandoz International GmbH and Par Pharmaceuticals, Inc, and relinquish the manufacturing and marketing rights to three others, to settle charges that Watson’s proposed $5.9 billion acquisition of Actavis would otherwise be anticompetitive.

FTC Submits Amicus Brief Explaining that Drug Companies Use “No-Authorized Generic” Agreements to Delay Generic Competition

In a “no-AG” agreement, the branded firm, as part of the patent litigation settlement, agrees that it will not launch its own generic alternative when the first generic begins to compete. Since the introduction of the branded AG would cut into the revenues of a competing generic product, a no-AG commitment can induce the generic firm to delay entry of its product to the market. Thus, the Commission concludes, a no-AG commitment is legally sufficient to trigger a rebuttable presumption of illegality under the law of the Third Circuit.

Valid but Not Infringed, Merck’s Loses Blockbuster Nasonex®

Last week, on Friday, June 15, 2012, Merck (NYSE: MRK) announced the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (Judge Peter G. Sheridan) ruled against the company on the issue of patent infringement in its suit against Apotex Inc. According to Merck, global sales of Nasonex® in 2010 topped $1.2 billion. See Merck News. A variety of Internet sources place the Nasonex® market share of the inhaled steroid market at 47%. Therefore, this patent loss some 6 years before the Nasonex® patent expires is a big deal.

US Oncologists Report Crucial Cancer Drug Shortages

The mantra of the anti-patent community is nearly in unison on the issue of patented drugs. Of course, everyone wants drugs to be developed, but no one wants to pay the exorbitant prices charged for blockbuster, patented drugs. You can add me to that list of individuals who doesn’t like the prices, but at least there is a benefit. Without appropriate financial incentives in place drugs would not be patented, but then again they wouldn’t be developed either. But what is the justification for scarcity and exorbitant prices of old drugs that are off patent?

Hatch-Waxman at the Supreme Court: Supporting Cert. in Cipro

One of the most debated issues in patent and antitrust law today involves pharmaceutical patent settlements. Brand-name drug manufacturers pay generic firms to settle patent litigation and delay entering the market. How should the antitrust laws respond? The Cipro case presents an ideal vehicle for Supreme Court review. It involves a simple, undisputed payment from brand to generic to delay entering the market.