Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cephalon's gambit in pay-to-delay

Cephalon Wants FTC To Disclose Secret Drug-Industry Patent Deals

Cephalon, of Frazer, Pa., says that in the course of the FTC litigation the commission has cited conclusions from two reports it has issued on patent settlements, including one published in January, titled "Pay-For-Delay: How Drug Company Pay-Offs Cost Consumers Billions." The report estimated drug buyers would save about $3.5 billion annually if Congress banned pay-for-delay deals. The study was based on patent-settlement agreements filed with the FTC between 2004 and 2009.

In a court filing Wednesday, Cephalon asked a U.S. judge to either bar the FTC studies from being used in the case or to compel the FTC to turn over documents supporting the studies. The FTC has so far declined to take either step, according to Cephalon.

"Although Cephalon believes those studies are inadmissible and should not be relied upon in any filing or expert report, it is evident that the FTC and other plaintiffs will continue to do so," Cephalon wrote. Other plaintiffs in the case include health-benefit plans and wholesale drug purchasers.

Cephalon said it offered to withdraw its requests for the data if the FTC agreed not to rely on them in the litigation, but the FTC didn't accept the proposal.

In a letter to other drug makers and law firms Monday, the FTC said it may be required by the judge to disclose the confidential information they filed with the FTC. The FTC advised the parties they could seek protective orders to block the release.

The FTC objected to the release of the confidential agreements, saying they're irrelevant to the case and protected from disclosure by law. Cephalon has countered that the documents would only be disclosed to the judge and parties to the case for use in the litigation.


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