– Federal Judge Refuses to Dismiss Suit in Provigil Antitrust Case

How does a Big Pharma corporation who has a successful product coming to the end of it’s patent protection, extend it’s the patent protection deadline?

This is how it works:  first, file lawsuits against any manufacturer who are planning to produce a generic version.  This works because if you are a Big Pharma corp you have the lawyers and the money to make legal life miserable for the smaller companies.

Second step, after you have filed suit against the generics, then offer them a “deal they cannot refuse”: namely, if they will postpone their production plans for X amount of time, you will pay them Y amount of dollars.

This link provides an excellent example of this technique:

In one of the most closely watched antitrust cases on the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s docket, a federal judge has refused to dismiss claims that biopharmaceutical giant Cephalon Inc. established an illegal monopoly for its profitable drug Provigil by paying more than $200 million in settlements to four generic manufacturers in return for agreements that they would delay going to market with cheaper versions of the drug.

The Provigil settlements sparked a wave of lawsuits — including one brought by the Federal Trade Commission — that accused Cephalon of conspiring with the four generic manufacturers to form classic anti-competitive horizontal agreements.

The suits alleged that Cephalon concocted a “reverse payment” scheme in which it filed patent suits against the four generic firms and then, instead of pressing those claims, opted to make a series of hefty payments to the defendants to preserve its monopoly.

via – Federal Judge Refuses to Dismiss Suit in Provigil Antitrust Case.

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