Harris Calls on Supreme Court To Prohibit Deals Between Drugmakers
On Friday, California's new Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) filed an amicus brief calling for the U.S. Supreme Court to prohibit "pay-for-delay" agreements in which brand-name drugmakers pay manufacturers to postpone the release of less-expensive generic drugs, the Sacramento Bee reports (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 1/8).
Thirty-one other states joined Harris in the amicus brief supporting health insurance plans, pharmacies, unions and wholesalers in their private antitrust lawsuit against drugmaker Bayer (Lake County News, 1/11).
In 1997, general drug manufacturers sought FDA approval to make less-expensive versions of Bayer's antibiotic Cipro.
Bayer then sued the generic drugmakers to enforce its patent for Cipro. As part of a settlement, Bayer paid $400 million in exchange for an agreement that the manufacturers would not market generic versions of Cipro for at least six years (Sacramento Bee, 1/8).
The states filing the amicus brief called for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case against Bayer and allow antitrust scrutiny of pay-for-delay agreements (Lake County News, 1/11).
The states argued that pay-for-delay agreements can jeopardize efforts to pare down escalating health care costs.
Harris said, "Keeping generic drugs off the market forces Californians to pay artificially high prices and denies many access to the medication they need" (Sacramento Bee, 1/8).
Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case against Bayer (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 1/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.