Generic Drugs News: January 2007 Archives

FTC: Delays in generic drugs on the rise

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FTCDrug companies increasingly are reaching legal settlements that delay the introduction of cheaper generic medicines and cheat Americans of billions of dollars in savings, regulators on Wednesday told lawmakers seeking to ban the agreements.

The Federal Trade Commission and others allege the settlements allow brand-name pharmaceutical companies to pay off would-be generic competitors, which then agree to delay introduction of their less costly but otherwise identical versions of the original medicines.

The FTC issued a report Wednesday, to coincide with a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the topic, that shows the settlements have become more common since two 2005 appeals court decisions upheld their legality.

Barr, GM Lobbying U.S. to Allow Biotech Drug Copies

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generic drugsJan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc., the second-largest U.S. maker of generic drugs, is lobbying for a U.S. law that for the first time would routinely allow the sale of copies of medicines made from biotechnology.

"It's what we're eating and breathing," said Jake Hansen, Barr's chief lobbyist in Washington. The company is dispatching about a dozen representatives to press Congress for the law, along with lobbyists from other generic-drug makers. "It's definitely our main focus."

The biotech industry, which includes companies such as Amgen Inc. and Genentech Inc., is countering with its own lobbying campaign. The biotech drugmakers say making copies of gene-based medications, which are more complex than traditional treatments, could pose health risks.

Merck seeks buyer for its generic drugs business

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merck DARMSTADT, Germany (AFX) - Merck KGaA is considering selling its generics drugs business to focus on new medication, according to a report in Handelsblatt newspaper, citing sources.

Merck (nyse: MRK )'s generics unit could be worth around 4 bln eur, added the report.

The company's supervisory board has already given 'the green light' to look for a buyer, the report stated, citing sources.