FTC: Drug makers delayed generics
WASHINGTON - Federal regulators yesterday accused Solvay Pharmaceuticals and three generic drug makers of illegally agreeing to keep cheaper versions of a lucrative hormone-boosting drug off the market.
The lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission alleges that Brussels-based Solvay agreed to share its profits with the generic firms provided they did not launch their low-cost versions until 2015. Androgel, a gel-based testosterone drug, is Solvay's best-selling product with US sales of more than $300 million.
Instead of competing against Solvay, the FTC claims the generic companies agreed to help market and manufacture Androgel.
"These agreements deny consumers the opportunity to purchase lower-cost generic versions of Androgel, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars a year," the FTC states in its complaint, filed in a US District Court in California.
Solvay said it would "use all necessary means to defend" the agreement.