KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Supreme Court To Hear Case About ‘Pay To Delay’ Deals Between Generic And Branded Drug Makers

Generic and the brand-name drug companies -- usually fierce competitors -- will be on the same side as they argue their case against the federal government. At issue is whether brand name drug manufacturers may pay generics to keep generic competitors off the market.

The New York Times: Justices To Look At Deals By Generic And Branded Drug Makers
Just about anyone who has gone to a pharmacy and paid for a prescription knows that a generic copy costs much less than the brand-name drug. The makers of those two versions of a drug, therefore, usually compete fiercely for market share and profits. But at the Supreme Court on Monday, the generic and the brand-name drug companies will be on the same side, arguing against the federal government in the legal equivalent of a heavyweight title bout (Wyatt, 3/24).

NPR: Supreme Court Hears 'Pay To Delay' Pharmaceutical Case
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on Monday in a case worth billions of dollars to pharmaceutical companies and American consumers. The issue is whether brand name drug manufacturers may pay generic drug manufacturers to keep generics off the market. These payments — a form of settlement in patent litigation — began to blossom about a decade ago when the courts, for the first time, appeared to bless them (Totenberg, 3/25).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: High Court Weights Drug Companies' Payments To Delay Release Of Cheaper Generic Drugs
The Obama administration, backed by consumer groups and the American Medical Association, says these so-called "pay for delay" deals profit the drug companies but harm consumers by adding 3.5 billion annually to their drug bills (3/25).

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