Brands and generics pharmaceuticals…

The case is Federal Trade Commission v. Watson Pharmaceuticals et al, No. 12-416.  

Via the New York Times comes this note:

Last year, for the third time since 2003, the 11th Circuit upheld the agreements as long as the allegedly anticompetitive behavior that results — in this case, keeping the generic drug off the market — is the same thing that would take place if the brand-name company’s patent were upheld.

Two other federal circuit courts, the Second Circuit and the Federal Circuit, have ruled similarly. But in July, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals said that those arrangements were anticompetitive on their face and violated antitrust law.

The agreements are also affected by a peculiar condition in the law that legalized generic competition for prescription drugs. That law, known as the Hatch-Waxman Act, gives a 180-day period of exclusivity to the first generic drug maker to file for approval of a generic copy and to file a lawsuit challenging the brand-name drug’s patent.

Brand-name drug companies have taken advantage of that law, finding that they can settle the patent suit by getting the generic company to agree to stay out of the market for a period of time. Because that generic company also has exclusivity rights, no other generic companies can enter the market.