The FTC's Continuing Challenge to Reverse Payment Patent Settlements in the Pharmaceutical Industry By Helen Cho Eckert

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In early 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (‘‘FTC’’) launched its latest challenge to reverse payment settlements in the pharmaceutical industry, FTC v. Watson Pharmaceuticals (‘‘Watson’’).1 In a press release accompanying Watson, the FTC announced that ‘‘’[t]oday’s action reaffirms the Commission’s commitment to protect American consumers from artificially high prescription drug prices that result when branded and generic pharmaceutical companies decide to collude rather than compete[.]’ ’’2 In a concurring statement, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz took it a step further, declaring that ‘‘eliminating these pay-for delay settlements is one of the most important objectives for antitrust enforcement in America today.’’3

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