Klobuchar and Grassley have introduced bipartisan legislation that would help put an end to pay-for-delay settlements that block consumers’ access to lower-cost generics; the legislation would bring more affordable generic equivalents on the market and ensure consumers have access to cost-saving generic drugs they need
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) today issued the following statements on the announcement that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed suit against Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and several other drug companies for violating antitrust laws by using pay-for-delay settlements to block consumers’ access to lower-cost generic versions of Opana ER and Lidoderm. Klobuchar and Grassley have introduced bipartisan legislation that would help put an end to pay-for-delay settlements that block consumers’ access to lower-cost generics.
"Competition, not sweetheart deals between branded and generic companies should determine prescription drug costs,” said Klobuchar. “The deals alleged are clear examples of pharmaceutical companies sharing monopoly profits and consumers paying the price. Although I appreciate that the FTC heeded our call for increased enforcement, today’s action illustrates the need for our legislation to help ensure people have access to the medications they need at a price they can afford by putting an end to these harmful agreements.”
“Whenever companies game the laws to their advantage, consumers, and in this case, the patients, are left feeling the pain,” said Grassley. “These allegations show how far some companies are willing to go at the expense of consumers, who have no other, more affordable options. Deals like these involving competition-stifling pay-for-delay maneuvers are exactly what Sen. Klobuchar and I have been working to end. Our legislation would curb these harmful tactics and help ensure that consumers have timely access to lower-cost generic medications.”
Klobuchar and Grassley have long supported efforts to combat anti-consumer pay-for-delay settlements. The senators are the lead sponsors of the Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act, which would crack down on anti-competitive pay-offs and make sure consumers have access to cost-saving generic drugs they need. The bipartisan legislation would make it illegal for brand-name drug manufacturers to use anti-competitive pay-off agreements to keep more affordable generic equivalents off the market. Klobuchar and Grassley introduced similar legislation in 2010 following a resurgence of patent settlement agreements. In July 2013, the Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights held a hearing to scrutinize pay-for-delay deals.