WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Herb Kohl today released the following statement on the announcement from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz that banning for pay-for-delay settlements that keep generic drugs off the market would save consumers at least $3.5 billion per year, and provide significant cost savings for federal government, which pays approximately one-third of all prescription drug costs.  Senator Kohl's bill, the Preserve Access to Affordable Generic Drugs Act (S. 369), would prohibit the anti-consumer practice of brand-name drug manufacturers using pay-off agreements to keep cheaper generic equivalents off the market.  Introduced in February with Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the bill is scheduled to be marked up by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"This morning, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz announced that putting an end to pay-for-delay deals between drug companies would save Americans $3.5 billion a year.  These payoffs create an excessive and unreasonable barrier to the drug treatments people need by allowing brand pharmaceutical companies to pay off their generic competition to keep them out of the market.   We cannot profess to care about the high cost of prescription drugs, while turning a blind eye to anti-competitive backroom deals between brand and generic drug companies that only serve the companies involved.  I urge my colleagues to support my legislation to ban these settlements once and for all."
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