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Attorney General Josh Stein Asks Court to Save Pharmaceutical Customers $3.5 Billion Annually

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein filed a brief in support of the Federal Trade Commission’s efforts to challenge a pay-for-delay agreement between brand-name-drug manufacturer Endo and its generic-drug competitor, Impax. This type of anticompetitive contract costs pharmaceutical customers more than $3.5 billion each year.

“When pharmaceutical companies collude to keep prices higher, we all lose,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I went to court in this case on behalf of the thousands of North Carolinians who are already paying too much for medication they need to stay healthy.”

Originally, Impax sued Endo, arguing that Endo’s patent was invalid. But then, instead of litigating the case, Impax and Endo agreed that – in exchange for $102 million – Impax would delay its entry into the market by two and a half years. Endo also agreed to avoid competing against Impax by selling a generic version of the drug.

The FTC held that Impax and Endo violated the law. Impax argues that pay-for-delay deals should be allowed if paired with other agreements that allegedly foster competition. Attorney General Stein is joined by 23 other attorneys general in speaking out in support of the existing law that requires these pay-for-delay clauses to be strictly judged on their own merits.

In a 2010 study, the FTC found that these pay-for-delay agreements, if eliminated, would save customers between $3.5 and $7.5 billion each year.

A copy of the brief is available here.

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484


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