The brief in Federal Trade Commission v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. et alopposes pharmaceutical industry exclusionary agreements, or pay-for-delay practices, that involve brand-name drug manufacturers paying competing drug manufacturers to keep cheaper generics off the market. Last November the AMA adopted policy that would support making pay-for-delay practices illegal in the U.S.
In the brief, the AMA and other organizations urged the high court to overturn an 11th Circuit Court ruling upholding exclusion payment agreements. The AMA noted its concern that pay-for-delay agreements extend patent monopolies excessively, artificially inflate health care costs and obstruct physicians' ability to treat their patients with necessary medications.
"The AMA believes that pay-for-delay agreements undermine the balance between spurring innovation through the patent system and fostering competition through the development of generic drugs," said AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, M.D. "Pay-for-delay must stop to ensure the most cost-effective treatment options are available to patients."
Pay-for-delay agreements between drugmakers are on the rise. A report issued this month by Federal Trade Commission identified 40 potential pay-for-delay deals, the highest of any year since the agency began collecting data in 2003.
Other organizations that joined the AMA in signing onto the AARP-led brief include the National Legislative Association for Prescription Drug Prices and the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups.
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