The History Behind The Drug-Device Combos Targeted By FTC
Of the 16 products whose Orange Book patent listings have been challenged by the FTC, six have no generic competitors and two faced first generic launches this year. A review of their patent and pricing battles shows the difficulties in developing generics for these complex drugs.
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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.
Deputy director of the Bureau of Competition notes in an interview that the FTC focused on older products it felt should have more generic competition in its letters to companies citing improper patent listings. He says it is clear which drug-device combo patents should not be listed.
Iilun Murphy said Hatch-Waxman was written with immediate-release oral drugs in mind, not the complex generics becoming more popular today. The agency is evaluating the issue.