Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Another Voice -- In Favor Of The Senate/Obama Proposal to End "Pay For Delay"

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.


Anonymous said...


Haven't taken the time to look at the molecular identity of the graphic, but I have to protest the whole graphic you posted as totally anti-American....you should be ashamed.....posting a graphic using a Soviet stopwatch...

Especially in the humbris of spirit with the ongoing olympic events, one would would show pride in our country and use a stop watch made in the USA.....woops nothing is made in the US anymore...ok how about Mexico...but a Soviet era stopwatch....com'on....:)

Condor said...

Very good eyes, there Anonymous!

It was the only clean, royalty-free web-accesible photo of acceptable size I could find, on a few minutes' worth of searching, in the Google images-database, last night -- between Bode Miller's runs.

I added the world globe/map overlay (another royalty free public domain image), and (obvisously) the compound schematic (previously created with freeware), as well as all the text and question mark(s).

Okay -- I also thought the CCCP watch was cool -- in a retro early 80s sort of way.

As to the compound, as luck would have it, Merck recently brought a second patent suit against Teva, on it, alleging violations of new and differing patents -- so I'll have to report on it all, shortly.

But the hint here is that it (a derivative of that very image) is already right here, in the archives of this blog -- as it is already the subject of pending patent litigation between legacy Schering-Plough and Teva. With over 1,200 posts, though -- it will take some looking (or a cleverly constructed search in my search box!). . . .

In any event, probably over the weekend, I'll end up putting another graphic together for this second suit, but the original graphic is buried right here, in the archeological records (sedimentary layers, even) of this site -- including its chemical and branded name.


condor said...

Trivia [compound name and brand name from above graphic], revealed.