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U.S. Seeks $1B from Drug Firms Delaying Generics

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission seeks a settlement of $1 billion or more from pharmaceutical companies it has sued for delaying the sale of cheaper medicines after patents on brand-name drugs may have expired, an FTC official told a legal conference on Friday.The antitrust agency alleges that the way drugmakers settle patent-related lawsuits hurts consumers by making drugs more expensive. In the settlements, makers of brand-name drugs pay millions of dollars to generics companies while they delay putting their products on the U.S. market.In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the FTC may challenge the deals in federal courts.A panel moderator at the American Bar Association's spring antitrust meeting asked Deborah Feinstein, the director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, what developments to expect in the coming year."My hope is that we get a billion-dollar settlement in one of the patent-settlement, pay-for-delay cases," Feinstein responded, giving no indication that any settl...

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