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Pfizers Latest Twist on Pay for Delay

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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 09:40 AM
Original message
Pharmaceutical companies have sought for years to protect their expensive brand-name drugs by paying generic rivals handsome sums of money to put off efforts to introduce cheaper, generic alternatives that could steal market share.

The controversial practice, known as pay for delay," occurs as part of patent litigation settlements and typically buys a brand-name drug company more time to sell its blockbuster drug exclusively until its patent on the drug expires. Federal Trade Commission regulators have said the practice costs consumers an estimated $3.5 billion each year, and have pushed for a ban.

But now it appears the drug company Pfizer is adding yet another twist to its efforts to delay generic competitors. As The New York Times reports, the company seems to have struck a deal with certain pharmacy benefit managers the middlemen in the pharmaceutical industry to block generic versions of Lipitor.

Lipitor, Pfizers blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drug, is among the worlds best-selling pharmaceuticals, and this isnt Pfizers first attempt to protect it.
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denverbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 09:55 AM
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1. Ahh, capitalism. Anything to get around the 'free market'.
These drug companies CEOs would all extol the virtues of the free market, while enjoying a government enforced monopoly to artificially inflate their prices. And when that monopoly finally expires, they collude with their potential competition to keep the monopoly in place. Rockefeller would be proud!
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sharp_stick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 10:28 AM
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2. Benefit managers
what a great scam they've got going. What a completely useless job, they're like the "beer distribution companies" that popped up shortly after prohibition still ripping us off in many States under the weird guise of protecting minors from access to alcohol.
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