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FTC Continues to Criticize AbbVie’s ill-gotten gains

Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission dropped its allegation that AbbVie’s (formerly Abbott Laboratories) had improperly blocked generic competition for its testosterone medication AndroGel in 2011 through sham litigation.

However, an official noted that existing rules do not support the agency’s efforts to reclaim money for customers.Consumers who were harmed by AbbVie’s and Besin’s anticompetitive behavior will not be compensated, according to Holly Vedova, interim head of the Bureau of Competition.

Nearly half a billion dollars would have been returned to AndroGel users by the FTC. As a result of their illegal anticompetitive activity, AbbVie’s and Besins can retain all of their ill-gotten earnings.”A lower court had ruled that had violated antitrust rules by launching a fake patent case against Perrigo. The U.S. Supreme Court denied  petition to reconsider that verdict.A U.S. appeals court in Philadelphia had ruled that AbbVie’s was guilty, but did not require it to pay a $448 million penalty. The court in Philadelphia rules FTC is not entitled to disgorgement of earnings.Because AbbVie’s and Besins Healthcare were unable to collect any money for customers, the FTC decided to dismiss the lawsuit.

As a result, Mendoza said, the FTC has to reinstate Section 13(b) of the FTC Act, which allows the agency to seek compensation for consumers in competition disputes.The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken action against pharmaceutical corporations on a number of occasions for engaging in “sham” patent litigation, which it claims is used to delay generic competitors by tying them up in court.

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