As part of a proposed Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settlement announced last month, Endo International has pledged to swear off pay-for-delay agreements. But even as the government moves to wrap up its case against Endo, authorities continue to pursue claims against Watson and Allergan. The lawsuit centers on a pay-for-delay deal on Lidoderm. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Watson “illegally” delayed a cheaper Lidoderm “when it entered into a pay-for-delay agreement with Endo.” The FTC has refiled charges against Watson and former parent company Allergan.
According to the FTC complaint, Lidoderm was an important product for Endo back in 2011. That year, the company made $825 million in sales off the lidocaine patch, or 30 percent of its annual sales total, meaning generic competition would pose “significant financial risks” to the company. Endo paid Watson at least $250 million to delay that competition, according to the FTC.
Through an “administrative complaint,” authorities are also going after Impax Laboratories, which they say received $112 million back in 2010 to delay a generic competitor to Endo’s Opana ER. Endo’s 10-year Stipulated Order for Permanent Injunction would resolve all claims by the FTC against Endo and its Par subsidiary related to Opana ER and Lidoderm. Endo agreed it would not make any agreements that would prevent the marketing of authorized generics of its products or make any payments to other drugmakers to delay the marketing of any of their generics. The FTC first brought the claims back in March 2016. Then, in October, the original complaint was dismissed after an unforgettable federal court ruling. However, the FTC said it would refile, which led to this most recent settlement agreement.
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