Senate panel OKs bill banning payments to block generics
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass a compromise version of a bill that would ban brand-name drug manufacturers from using payment agreements to keep generic-drug manufacturers from introducing less-expensive versions of drugs once their patents expire. The legislation, called the Preserve Access to Affordable Generic Drugs Act, was introduced in February. Under the compromise version, it would be illegal for drugmakers to strike such deals unless they can clearly prove that the arrangement would not hurt competition. The Federal Trade Commission has said the practice violates antitrust rules and has sought to end it for several years.