Prior Bad Conduct By Pharma Companies Could Be ‘Plus Factor’ In Merger Review
Experts suggest US FTC and DOJ retrospectively assess whether a merger gives companies increased leverage with PBMs and consider how it will impact vulnerable communities. Rutger’s Michael Carrier says there should be a presumption against mergers between two large firms.
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The Federal Trade Commission broke new ground last year in its opposition to M&A transactions and challenge of Orange Book patent listings. The biopharma community is waiting to see if deals will face similar hurdles in 2024 and whether there will be legal battles if manufacturers of drug-device combination products decline to delist their patents. Researchers advocate that the FTC extend its inquiry to device patents on GLP-1 receptor agonists, including Wegovy and Ozempic.
The Federal Trade Commission blocked or restricted several deals last year, broadening what it considers to be anticompetitive transactions. Stakeholders are looking to see if the agency will bring similar cases this year and what remedies it will seek to allow deals to go forward.
Complaint marks first time agency has raised novel theories of competitive harm in pharma merger and is rare instance in which it has filed a complaint without a consent decree. Last time FTC has gone to court to block a pharma merger was in 2008.