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US: FTC, Senate’s Klobuchar meet to hash-out pay-for-delay

 |  July 23, 2013

The US Federal Trade Commission and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), head of the Senate’s Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, held a joint hearing to discuss pay-for-delay deals following last month’s Supreme Court decision that ruled officials can sue pharmaceutical companies for the agreements but stopped short of declaring the deals illegal. Klobuchar has introduced a bill to make the agreements illegal; the legislation is co-introduced with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA). The senate’s meeting wit the FTC looked to examine the deals and their effects on the pharmaceutical industry and its consumers. FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez said at the meeting regulators will take a new, firmer stance against the settlements already litigated by the FTC and to investigate new agreements; while not all patent settlements are anticompetitive, said Ramirez, the FTC is looking to stop those that are. The watchdog says $3.5 billion in spent by consumers and the US government each year because of such deals. Ramirez did not declare, however, whether any of the current pay-for-delay cases currently under watch by the FTC will head to court.

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