New FTC Chair Confirmed, Will Continue Generic Drug Probe
The Senate has confirmed Timothy Muris to head the Federal Trade Commission, and the new chair indicated that he would continue the agency's investigation into "alleged anticompetitive pacts" between large pharmaceutical companies and generic drug makers to keep cheaper drugs off the market, the Wall Street Journal reports (Dreazen, Wall Street Journal, 5/29). Current FTC Chair Robert Pitofsky has said that drug companies that hold patents on brand-name drugs are "gaming the rules" by making deals with generic drug manufacturers to keep generic products off the market "far longer than the law intended." During his confirmation hearings, Muris said that the intent of the current generic drug law is "being violated" (California Healthline, 5/17). With Muris' confirmation, the GOP will hold a 3-2 majority at the FTC, giving the Republicans control of the agency for the first time in eight years (Wall Street Journal, 5/29).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.