FTC sues Cephalon for blocking generics

Here's one way generics might pay off. The feds are accusing Cephalon of bribing drugmakers to keep copycat Provigil off the market. According to an FTC lawsuit against the company, Cephalon paid four generics makers $200 million to stop selling their versions of the narcolepsy drug until 2012. With $800 million in annual sales, Provigil accounts for about half of Cephalon's revenues.

Using words like "monopoly," an FTC official said Cephalon agreed to share profits with the generics firms in exchange for their staying out of the fray. "Such conducts is at the core of what the antitrust laws proscribe," the official said. But Cephalon defended its agreements with the other companies, which settled patent litigation. "We believe they fully comply with both the spirit and letter of the antitrust laws," the company said in a statement. And Barr Pharmaceuticals, one of the generics firms, said that it believes the deals are legal and that they serve consumers' best interests.

- find Cephalon's release about the FTC suit
- read the story in BusinessWeek
- check out more details in the Wall Street Journal

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