Statement From A.G. Schneiderman On Supreme Court Decision In FTC V. Actavis

NEW YORK – The following statement can be attributed to Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today in FTC v. Actavis, which finds that pay-for-delay settlements of drug patent litigation — settlements in which brand-name drug manufacturers pay their generic competitors to delay the availability of cheaper generic drugs — may be challenged as potential violations of antitrust law. 

“Today’s ruling is a victory for millions of Americans who depend on generic drugs to treat illness and pain. As we argued in our brief to the Supreme Court, pay-for-delay drug settlements should receive serious scrutiny because they are frequently anticompetitive, unlawful, and harmful to health-care consumers across the country. This decision makes clear that drug companies can be sued to stop anticompetitive pay-for-delay agreements. It will be an important weapon in the fight for affordable drug prices and quality healthcarefor every citizen.”

In January 2013, Attorney General Schneiderman led a bipartisan coalition of 36 states, plus the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in a brief arguing that the Supreme Court should allow antitrust enforcers to challenge pay-for-delay settlements as anticompetitive and unlawful. On Wednesday, June 19, that brief will receive an award from the National Association of Attorneys General for Best Supreme Court Brief submitted by a State. The Attorney General has also initiated legal action to protect consumers against anticompetitive practices in a variety of contexts, including pay-for-delay settlements.

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