The Wall Street Journal's Brent Kendall is reporting that a federal District Court Judge, Thomas Thrash Jr., sitting in Atlanta, has rejected attempts by the FTC to invalidate as unlawful a recent generic patent infringement settlement agreement -- also more-than-occasionally referred to as "pay for delay" agreements, since they keep generics off market for a period of years, typically in return for payments (or other valuable concessions) from the branded pharmaceuticals company. Judge Thrash tossed the FTC complaint.
The head of the FTC is right, with his quoted reaction, here:
. . . .Richard Feinstein, head of the FTC's bureau of competition, said the ruling was "obviously disappointing," but said the decision underscored the need for a legislative solution, such as the prohibition included in Obama's health-care proposal.
"A new law is the quickest and most effective way to serve the interests of the millions of U.S. consumers who take prescription drugs and deserve unfettered access to lower-cost generic alternatives," Feinstein said. . . .
Quite so. Add to this Mr. Obama's support for a repeal of the health insurers' anti-trust exemption, and there may yet emerge some real change -- toward fairer health care delivery systems, in the United States.
[Trivia challenge: Can any reader identify the generic name for the compound shown at left in the above graphic? I'll take its brand name as an alternative answer, for partial credit.]
LATER, STILL: An mp3 audio link to NPR's Scott Hensley, on how pay for delay works, and what it's all about -- a simplified primer, of sorts.