Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/18/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

U.S. Supreme Court says that while 'pay to delay' is not illegal, it hampers patients

Those in need of far less costly, generic drugs for their medical conditions got a boost this week by the Supreme Court. A longstanding practice by the U.S. pharmaceuticals industry to pay producers of generic copies to hold off introducing those low-cost drugs into the marketplace - known as "reverse payments," may now be challenged in court. Known colloquially as "pay to delay," the practice has been called anti-competitive and harmful for consumers, who are forced to pay more for drugs.

Brand-name drugs comprised just 18 percent of all U.S. prescriptions written in 2011, according to IMS Health. Yet they accounted for almost three quarters of revenue for the industry, worth some $320 billion a year.

Brand-name drugs comprised just 18 percent of all U.S. prescriptions written in 2011, according to IMS Health. Yet they accounted for almost three quarters of revenue for the industry, worth some $320 billion a year.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/18/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Generic drugs, pharmaceuticals, Supreme Court, Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984, 'pay to delay'


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The decision by the high court did not declare reverse payments to be outright illegal, as previously hoped, it does allow the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to move forward with court cases against these arrangements. The decision also reversed previous rulings by lower courts.

"[T]he specific restraint at issue has the 'potential for genuine adverse effects on competition,'" Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the majority in the 5-3 ruling. "Payment for staying out of the market keeps prices at patentee-set levels and divides the benefit between the patentee and the challenger, while the consumer loses."

Competition from generics can often lower drugs prices by up to 90 percent. The FTC, meanwhile, has estimated that agreements to push off such competition cost consumers some 3.5 billion dollars per year in the United States alone. The patents in question will likely not extend overseas, so the ruling will likely have little immediate impact outside of the United States.

Brand-name drugs comprised just 18 percent of all U.S. prescriptions written in 2011, according to IMS Health. Yet they accounted for almost three quarters of revenue for the industry, worth some $320 billion a year.

"The incentives to engage in research and development are already out there without these kinds of agreements," Scott Nelson, an attorney with Public Citizen, a public interest watchdog, told IPS.

"Signing one of these agreements will mean you may have to fight the U.S. government. Hopefully, the impact will be that companies think twice before entering into these types of agreements, which are basically just arrangements to split up profits under which consumers lose out."

The recent decision calls forth the memories of the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984, meant specifically to push generic drugs onto the market more quickly. As Nelson noted, this law offers incentives for the development of new drugs such as decades-long patents.

The decision will let generics manufacturers to challenge these patents for a variety of reasons. According to a study by the FTC, until the early 2000s, the generics companies prevailed in these challenges almost three quarters of the time.

A version of this story was first published by Inter Press Service news agency.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Health

Quarantined Ebola-positive doctor used subway, went to bowling alleys Watch

Image of Dr. Craig Spencer, an American doctor living in New York City, is under quarantine after testing positive for the Ebola virus.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As Dr. Craig Spencer, an American doctor living in New York City, is under quarantine after testing positive for the Ebola virus, officials are frantically tracking his steps throughout the city in order to see who could have been exposed. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


While death rates fall, tuberculosis still leaves millions stricken Watch

Image of The WHO said that insufficient funding was hampering efforts to combat the disease. An estimated $8 billion was needed each year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For a completely curable disease, tuberculosis continues its deadly worldwide toll. The World Health Organization says that about 1.5 million people died in 2013 from TB, including 360,000 people who were HIV positive. The organization estimates that there are ... continue reading


Have we passed the tipping point? Drug resistant tuberculosis could kill millions Watch

Image of Tuberculosis, also known as the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that multidrug resistant tuberculosis (TB) is reaching a tipping point, with about 480,000 new cases having occurred this year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The lung disease killed nearly 1.5 million people ... continue reading


What's the biggest danger in your home? It will shock and disgust you Watch

Image of Kitchen towels in your home may be the biggest danger to the health of you and your family.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The biggest danger in your house aren't stairs, bugs or chemicals, but actually may be hand towels kept in the kitchen. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kitchen towels may spread food poisoning, bacteria or other dangerous microorganisms around your home without any ... continue reading


NOT long enough: Ebola could lay dormant in the body for longer than 21 days, expert claims Watch

Image of Biology Professor Charles Hass, who has vast experience of analyzing the risk of transmitting biological pathogens, said

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study warns that the recommended 21-day quarantine period for the Ebola virus is not long enough to contain the spread of the disease. While the World Health Organization advises the incubation period for the virus is between two and 21 days, scientists ... continue reading


Nurse says Texas Presbyterian Hospital was chaotic and filthy during Ebola outbreak Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas, reacted very poorly when it discovered that they had been treating a Liberian man with Ebola. According to a nurse who has since come forward, safety regulations were blithely ignored, contaminated linens and waste ... continue reading


Why aren't we doing this? Colombia bans entry to those from Ebola affected countries Watch

Image of A Liberian man is having his temperature taken by a no-contact thermometer.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two countries have started barring entry to people coming from the nations in West Africa that have been hardest hit by the current Ebola outbreak. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kenny Anthony, the prime minister of St. Lucia-a small island nation in the ... continue reading


Second Dallas health worker contracts Ebola virus Watch

Image of Workers scrub down Amber Vinson's apartment in Dallas, Texas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A second Dallas health care worker has since contracted the Ebola virus - and authorities are now frantically trying to contact the more than 100 plus passengers with whom she shared a flight. Authorities says that the employee, Amber Vinson reportedly showed ... continue reading


World has until Christmas to control Ebola; all bets off afterwards Watch

Image of The World Health Organization, or WHO earlier said there could be 10,000 new cases of Ebola per week within two months.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United Nations says the Ebola outbreak must be controlled within 60 days. Otherwise, the world faces an "unprecedented" situation for which there is no plan. Ebola, according to the U.N. "is running faster than us and it is winning the race." LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


The horrifying truth of Ebola: WHO suggests 10,000 could become infected per week Watch

Image of An aid worker carries a child infected with Ebola in Liberia, one of the West African nations hardest hit by the outbreak.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a dire warning to the world. On October 14 they announced that the death rate of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is now 70%, much higher than usual. Even more horrifying, the WHO has stated that West Africa ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2014 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. Chrysanthus was an ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter