High Court Weighs Drug Companies' Generics Policy - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

High Court Weighs Drug Companies' Generics Policy

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is struggling with whether it should stop pharmaceutical corporations from paying generic drug competitors to delay releasing their cheaper versions of brand-name drugs.
    
Justices heard arguments from federal officials Monday that these deals can be anticompetitive and keeps lower-cost generic drugs out of American hands. But pharmaceutical companies say these deals save litigation costs and often bring generics to market faster.
    
A government lawyer argued the companies should be forced to prove that their deals serve a purpose beyond simply paying a generic drug's maker not to challenge a brand-name drug's patent.
    
But a pharmaceutical company lawyer says they shouldn't be forced to litigate each generic vs. brand-name drug patent lawsuit to conclusion when a settlement can be reached.
    
Justices will make a decision later this year.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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