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US: FTC files complaint against ViroPharma for delaying generic competition

 |  February 8, 2017

The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint in federal district court charging Shire ViroPharma with violating the antitrust laws by abusing government processes to delay generic competition to its branded prescription drug, Vancocin HCl Capsules. The complaint alleges that because of ViroPharma’s actions, consumers and other purchasers paid hundreds of millions of dollars more for their medication.

“I have long advocated that the Commission target abuses of government processes that significantly harm competition and consumers; the Commission’s action today is another example of this ongoing commitment,” said FTC Acting Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen. “Generic medications can save consumers millions of dollars. When we have reason to believe that a branded drug company misuses government processes to unlawfully maintain a monopoly by delaying generic entry, the FTC will act to protect competition.”

Vancocin Capsules are used to treat C.difficile-associated diarrhea, or CDAD, a sometimes life-threatening bacterial infection. According to the complaint, Vancocin Capsules are not reasonably interchangeable with any other medications used to treat CDAD, and no other medication constrained ViroPharma’s pricing of Vancocin Capsules. After ViroPharma acquired the rights to Vancocin Capsules in 2004, it raised the price of the drug significantly and continued to do so through 2011.

Full Content: Federal Trade Commission

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