Washington, DC — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) today released the following statements after the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with Cephalon, Inc. in the commission’s antitrust suit against the company for illegally blocking generic competition to the drug Provigil.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the settlement agreement stipulates that Cephalon, “will make a total of $1.2 billion available to compensate purchasers, including drug wholesalers, pharmacies, and insurers, who overpaid because of Cephalon’s illegal conduct.”

Klobuchar and Grassley introduced legislation in the last Congress to crack down on anti-competitive pay for delay deals. The Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act would help put an end to the practice of brand-name drug manufacturers using pay-off agreements to keep more affordable generic equivalents off the market and help make sure consumers have access to the cost-saving generic drugs they need.  The senators expect to introduce legislation again this Congress.

“Drug manufacturers are using pay-off agreements to keep cheaper generic drugs off the market while raking in huge profits, and it has to stop,” said Klobuchar. “The FTC settlement with Cephalon is further evidence of the size of this problem, and it reinforces the need for legislation to crack down on these anti-competitive deals. When a company can earn $4 billion by eliminating competition, but only has to return less than a third of those illegal profits, it’s clear that we need stronger deterrents to protect American consumers. Senator Grassley and I will be reintroducing our legislation to prevent this anti-consumer practice, and I will keep fighting to ensure that Americans have access to the drugs they need at a price they can afford.”

“This case shows just how much money companies are still making through these pay for delay deals.  There remains a need for further action to preserve generic drug competition and protect consumers from illegal conduct that delays their ability to purchase less expensive drugs.  Legislation can be a strong deterrent to these market-distorting practices that hurt consumers and taxpayers,” Grassley said.

Here is a link to the Federal Trade Commission’s press release announcing the settlement.