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Drugmakers Go On Defense Against "Pay-To-Delay" Charge

03/12/13

  11:13:18 am, by MedBen5   , 220 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Health Plan Management

Drugmakers Go On Defense Against "Pay-To-Delay" Charge

The federal government and drug manufacturers don’t see eye-to-eye on so-called “pay-to-delay” deals – paid arrangements between brand-name and generic drugmakers to wait until a certain date before introducing lower-cost versions. So in a rare display of solidarity, representatives for brand-name and generic drug companies will argue together in defense in the practice at a Supreme Court hearing on March 25, POLTICO Pro reports.

The Federal Trade Commission, which has brought suit against the drugmaker Actavis, claims that such arrangements are anticompetitive. The delay date is often years after the deal is made, but typically before the branded drug’s patent expires. In the interim, patients must continue to pay the brand-name premium on prescriptions.

Drug companies counter that the deals actually benefit patients. Many generics reach the market faster than they otherwise would, and the drugmakers avoid costly litigation that would ultimately get passed down to the customer. “These are good for the companies and they are good for consumers,” Ralph Neas, president and CEO of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, told POLITICO.

Trade associations America’s Health Insurance Plans, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and AARP filed briefs backing FTC’s suit. Access to generic drugs should be “unrestrained by agreements that artificially prolong brand-drug market power past the time intended by Congress,” AHIP argued in its court filing.

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