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

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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