Wednesday, January 2, 2013

James M. Burns Comments on the Supreme Court’s Decision to Hear the Androgel “Pay for Delay” Pharmaceutical Patent Settlement Antitrust Case

James Burns, a Member in Dickinson Wright’s Washington D.C. office, commented to several health care publications on the United States Supreme Court’s decision to hear the Androgel antitrust case (FTC v. Watson Pharmaceuticals).  The case involves so-called “pay for delay” settlements, in which a branded drug manufacturer typically sues a generic manufacturer for patent infringement, but ultimately resolves the suit with a payment to the generic defendant in return for the generic’s agreement not to enter the market for an extended period of time. The FTC has long contended that such agreements, which can extend the branded manufacturer’s period of market exclusivity, can be anticompetitive, and have repeatedly sought to have the Supreme Court review the practice.

Burns commented not only on the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case, but also on the possibility that the Supreme Court’s ruling has the potential to bring clarity to a number of related issues involving branded drug manufacturer/generic drug manufacturer competition.  Links to the article in the BNA Health Law Reporter and BNA Health Care Daily Reporter containing his comments can be found here.     

Mr. Burns has focused his practice on antitrust law for over 25 years. During that time, he has litigated antitrust and related claims in trial and appellate courts all across the country, advised clients on antitrust compliance issues, and represented clients before the DOJ Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission on a wide variety of antitrust matters, including mergers and governmental investigations. While his antitrust practice is broad-based, he has had a particular focus on the representation of healthcare and insurance industry clients in antitrust matters.