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Sat Dec 8, 2012, 09:19 PM

Supreme Court to hear "pay-for-delay" drug case

Source: Reuters

The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether brand-name drug companies may pay money to generic drug rivals to keep their lower-priced products off the market, a practice estimated to cost consumers and the government billions of dollars each year.

The arrangements, known as "pay-for-delay" or "reverse payments," have for more than a decade vexed antitrust enforcers, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which have been stung until recently by a series of court decisions allowing such practices.

In a typical case, a generic rival challenges the patent of a brand-name competitor, which then pays the rival a sum of money to drop its challenge. Defenders of the practice call it a legitimate means to resolve patent litigation.

Snip

And in November 2011, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said a U.S. Senate bill to ban reverse payments would save the government $4.79 billion and lower U.S. spending on prescription drugs by $11 billion over a decade. (http://aging.senate.gov/publications/s27.pdf)

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/supreme-court-hear-pay-delay-drug-case-204340879--finance.html;_ylt=AoX.hLScdd8LILlJO_z8OZJtzwcF;_ylu=X3oDMTNuYXNxY2tkBG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBVU1NGBHBrZwMwZjU1YzE1YS0wMjA3LTNjODktOGZjNy0yNDJlZDFjN2Y0MGQEcG9zAzkEc2VjA3RvcF9zdG9yeQR2ZXIDYTdmYjdiMjEtNDBjNC0xMWUyLWJkZWUtMmQwMDAwZDJkNGZi;_ylg=X3oDMTFoaTA0amh2BGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAN1LXMEcHQDc2VjdGlvbnM-;_ylv=3



There are several good legal reasons why this practice could be put to a stop. With health care costs high it would help to get the generic drugs on the market quicker and stop the companies from delaying them.

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Response to davidpdx (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 09:27 PM

1. I wonder what happens the day the money runs out. What I see anymore are escalating prices.

Many will not be able to pay more and more. I guess the question is, do those that can not pay cause costs to come down, or do they just die off. Sadly, I think in many quarters none give a damn about humanity, but rather just $$$$$.

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Response to davidpdx (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 09:30 PM

2. I would think that bribing another company to prevent competition

...... would fall under some racketeering laws, but I guess that thinking is too hard for the DOJ to figure out.

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 09:46 PM

4. As long as the American people continue to worship Capitalism as a religion, and there are thousands

who are getting rich off of the pipeline, that will be reflected by voting in tools to make laws to give into them. This was all done at the ballot box.

Until people get that into their heads, the DOJ won't have the laws to convict them with of anything, since they've been repealed by the GOP generation.

And too much knee jerk 'it's good for business' bs in this country. Must be given to infants in formula. Capitalism is the ultimate 'sacred cow' that we must never speak against.

Dem gummint regulations steal our free-dumbs!

Don't interfere with biz, you'll take away the magic!





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Response to freshwest (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 02:38 AM

9. Fully agree.

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 09:48 PM

5. That and it is against public policy as it stifles competition.

Right now I'm studying international business law, but I have taken business law classes that deal with US law. A few of the cases I've been doing briefs on have made me think about the possible ways this case could be argued. I think we know the 4 liberal justices are going to vote to overturn this, so the question is whether they get either Kennedy or Roberts to join them. The article said that Alito is sitting it out, so the other possibility is a 4-4 tie if they don't get one of the two to swing.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 02:02 AM

7. A few years ago, I would have been hopeful for a case like this

It appears they are in violation of some competition/anti-trust laws.

However, after the Citizens United debacle, I just don't know...

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 04:49 AM

10. I think Roberts got stung by the Citizens' United backlash

Yes, he's a corporatist, but he also seems to care about such things as his place in history and whatnot.

The public backlash against CU was immense. I think he knows the decision cost the SCOTUS dearly in reputation and legitimacy. I believe that's why he voted to uphold ACA, tbh.

On its face, this practice is anticompetitive. So he might vote for law over corporate ideology here.

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Response to strategery blunder (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 05:56 AM

13. I agree with you on both accounts

A week ago I finished reading Jeffery Toobin's book The Oath (crap with as many times as I mention this book I should be getting a commissions, I know dream on) and found it informative. There is good background information on all of the justices (with a greater focus on the two new ones, his other book The Nine went over the justices that were on the court before Roberts and Alito were appointed).

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 06:00 AM

14. I think the case is going to come down to either Roberts or Kennedy

If both vote with scumbags Scalia and Thomas then it will be a tie and the lower court's ruling will stand

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Response to davidpdx (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 09:33 PM

3. Sounds like a classic price-fixing racket. Go after both parties.

Or nationalize their damn ass, I don't care. Profits before people is no way to run anything. It's immoral.


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Response to davidpdx (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 10:11 PM

6. Sounds like a RICO issue. /eom

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Response to davidpdx (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 02:11 AM

8. Good. Those deals have always struck me as disgusting (nt)

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Response to davidpdx (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 05:16 AM

11. almost 16 billion savings in our Federal funds over just a decade.

I don't think patents should be allowed on medicines or they should be very short, a year or less.

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Response to davidpdx (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 05:54 AM

12. This is real. I got hit with it re: Lipitor

My doc prescribed it, saying "Don't worry about the price (he knows I'm poor) it goes
off patent in Nov '11" and it was Oct. 11 when he said that. So in I went to the drug
store in Nov. to fill my prescription for the generic, but the pharmacy said they "didn't
have the generic yet". They had like a prepared string of nonsensical non-answers,
like "oh sometimes it takes awhile for these things to become available", all for some
mysterious unspecified or unexplained reason. Eventhough technically Lipitor's patent
HAD in fact expired, there was STILL NO GENERIC brand on the market. This went on
for nearly an entire year, me asking if the price had gone down yet, and the pharmacy
saying they couldn't tell me that, I'd need to find out from my health ins. company. I
just chalked it up on my list of as yet unsolved mysteries in my Universe.

Then I saw an excellent article in Harpers or some such magazine. Googling now I
am not finding it, but here's one in Daily Finance magazine from May of 2011 on this:
http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/05/05/big-pharma-deals-to-preserve-high-drug-prices-skyrocketed-in-f/
Yes, Big Pharma is "essentially bribing generic rivals to delay the release of cheaper drugs,
costing consumers billions of dollars a year". Ouch. I gave my doc a copy of the Harpers
article, and he just kind of nodded and went "hmmm .. yeah I'm afraid this stuff happens".

FINALLY, just this month, the price dropped, but not really as much as it should have,
for a generic. Instead of the non-generic price of $48 it was $25 for generic. Maybe
that will go down over time as more suppliers enter the market (??)

Anyway, I wish this wouldn't go to SCOTUS in it's current ademantly pro-corporate
configuration; but I'll be wishing God's speed to the FTC and whoever else is pushing
for a remedy to this outlandish rip-off of people needing their medications.

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Response to davidpdx (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 08:46 AM

15. Sounds like illegal, collusive restraint of trade.

Oh yeah, we don't worry about that any more.

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Response to davidpdx (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 09:45 AM

16. Anti-Competitive Trade Practices

Nixon's Milk Scandal was a price-fixing scheme, don't really
remember the details

By the logic of this case, any business could pay any other
business or individual to not enter a market and thus gain
monopoly pricing power

I, BIG Business, could pay you, convenience store owner,
not to sell Mega Milk in my town or mid-west market
which would enable me to keep prices high on milk and make
me more money. Anti-competitive.

There really is not much sense in our system to develop a product
that is identical to one already under patent, unless you can
successfully challenge the patent. And the high costs of developing
the drugs initially are respected by the courts, and reflected in the
patents granted as a way to recoup those costs.

And patent litigation rarely makes it to the Supreme Court. It's usually
FTC, lower courts, or settled out of court between the two parties.

If these are payments after the expiration of patents, I don't think they
ought to be legal.

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