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US: FTC faces appeal in Shire ViroPharma case

 |  December 11, 2018

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Tuesday, December 11, urged a federal appeals court to overturn the dismissal of its lawsuit accusing a unit of drugmaker Shire of violating antitrust laws, claiming the lower court’s ruling threatens its enforcement abilities.

The 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia will hear arguments over whether a judge in March correctly held the FTC could only seek an injunction against Shire ViroPharma if it could allege the company was about to break the law again.

In this case, the FTC alleged the defendants violated antitrust laws by abusing government processes to delay generic competition to its branded prescription drug, Vancocin HCl capsules.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has a practice where it refrains from approving generic applications of a drug if there are any pending citizen petition filings. ViroPharma purportedly used this to its advantage and submitted 43 filings with the FDA to delay the process for generic versions of its drug.

“I have long advocated that the commission target abuses of government processes that significantly harm competition and consumers. The commission’s action is another example of this ongoing commitment,” said FTC then-acting chairwoman Maureen Ohlhausen.

Full Content: Reuters

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