For years, the Federal Trade Commission lamented the ever-growing number of pay-for-delay patent settlements--three in 2005, 14 in 2007, up to a record 40 in 2012--and vowed to turn the tide. Now, it looks as if that's happening.
Lumos Labs is shelling out $2 million to settle claims from the FTC that it duped consumers about its "brain training" program and apps by convincing them that its games could help stave off serious health conditions or cognitive impairments.
Last month, four U.S. senators asked the FTC to investigate "possible illegal collusion" by saline solution manufacturers to determine whether they had been unfairly cashing in on a two-year shortage. But saline is only one of hundreds of hospital generic injectable drugs whose prices have soared in the last 8 years, And given the current state of affairs in the business, it is a situation unlikely to change.
In response to U.S. senators who have asked the FTC to look into whether saline producers have used the shortage to unfairly raise prices and push the sales of tubes and pumps, Baxter International and Hospira, two of the key U.S. suppliers of saline, say they have gone to extraordinary effort to deal with the solution shortage that has bedeviled the industry for two years.
Turing Pharmaceuticals faces a new adversary: New York's attorney general. AG Eric Schneiderman's office has launched an antitrust investigation into Turing, the drugmaker whose 5000% price hike put the pharma industry's pricing policies under a microscope.
Alongside the FDA, the Federal Trade Commission oversees the marketing and promotion of medical devices. FTC Consumer Education Specialist Aditi Jhaveri took to the agency's blog to warn consumers against purchasing unregulated devices that promote "do-it-yourself" projects, such as weight loss.
Generic makers have had just about enough with branded drugmakers tweaking aging meds to hold on to sales, with some arguing in court that the move is inherently anticompetitive. Now the FTC is wading into the debate, saying that pharma companies that make small changes to brand-name products to ward off competition from cheaper copycats may be violating antitrust laws.
AbbVie escaped the wrath of the FTC in a pay-for-delay suit over AndroGel generics, as a federal judge who previously threw out antitrust claims against the company rejected the agency's attempts to reconsider its case.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has settled with two makers of ultraviolet light devices that the agency said made false claims about product efficacy. The devices were marketed to consumers with claims that they could eliminate fungus and dangerous bacteria without providing sufficient supporting evidence, the agency said.
Zimmer already has clearances from regulators in Europe and Japan for its proposed $13.4 billion acquisition of Biomet. Now it's close to gaining the go-ahead from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Zimmer has disclosed that it has secured buyers for three U.S. businesses to satisfy FTC requests: Zimmer Unicompartmental High-Flex Knee System assets, Biomet Discovery Elbow System assets and Cobalt bone cement assets.