The FTC estimates the agreements currently cost American consumers $3.5 billion a year in higher prescription costs when they miss out on generic prices that can be as much as "90 percent less than brand prices," according to the study.
"Based on a preliminary analysis, already, in the first nine months of FY 2010, there have been more brand-generic settlements involving some sort of compensation - 21 - than in any prior full fiscal year," Leibowitz reported in July 27, 2010 testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy.
Those settlements protect $9 billion in drug sales from generic competition. "That's almost an epidemic," he told lawmakers, "and left untreated, these types of settlements will continue to insulate more and more drugs from competition."
The FTC joined the Cephalon antitrust litigation on February 13, 2008, by filing a lawsuit against Cephalon, but not the generics makers, alleging violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act. Cephalon's anticompetitive scheme "denies patients access to lower-cost, generic versions of Provigil and forces consumers and other purchasers to pay hundreds of millions of dollars a year more for Provigil," the agency stated in a press release the same day.