U.S. FTC reaches pay-for-delay settlement with Endo

By By Toni Clarke Features Reuters

Endo International Plc said on Monday it had reached a proposed settlement with U.S. anti-trust regulators under which it will not pay rivals to delay the introduction of generic competitors to its medications.

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The Federal Trade Commission had alleged Endo paid Impax Laboratories Inc to delay the introduction of a generic version of its painkiller Opana ER.

The agency also alleged Endo paid Watson Laboratories Inc to delay introduction of a generic version of its Lidoderm pain treatment. The proposed settlement must be ratified by a court.

Endo said it is not required to make any monetary payment to the FTC and made no admission of liability. It said the settlement is "consistent with the company's position that the Lidoderm and Opana ER settlements fully complied with the law both at the time they were executed and today."

Watson and Impax were also named in the FTC's lawsuit, which alleges the companies illegally blocked access to low-cost alternatives to Endo's products. The complaint against those companies remains outstanding.

Watson, which was formerly owned by Allergan Plc , is now owned by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd . Teva and Allergan declined to comment. A spokesman for Impax was not immediately reachable.

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(Additional reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Bernadette Baum, Bernard Orr)