United States: Another FTC Conduct Case To Bolster Generic Drug Competition: Pharmaceuticals Charged With Illegal Non-Compete For Generic ADHD Drug Sales

Last Updated: August 21 2015
Article by Bruce D. Sokler and Farrah Short

The Federal Trade Commission's ("FTC" or "Commission") ever-expanding list of enforcement actions to preserve competition for generic pharmaceuticals just grew in a new direction. This week, two generic pharmaceutical companies entered into a Consent Order with the FTC settling charges that they violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by agreeing not to compete in the sale of generic versions of the branded Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ("ADHD") drug Kapvay. In the Matter of Concordia Pharmaceuticals Inc., Concordia Healthcare Corp., Par Pharmaceutical Inc., Par Pharmaceutical Holdings, Inc. and TPG Partners VI, L.P. (FTC File No. 151 0030) (August 18, 2015). Unlike the well-known reverse payment cases initiated by the FTC, this matter did not grow out of the resolution of patent litigation, but instead resulted from a non-compete contained within a more complex licensing agreement. The proposed settlement is subject to public comment and final approval.

The drug Kapvay received Federal Drug Administration ("FDA") approval for the treatment of ADHD in 2010. The next year, Par Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Par") was the "first filer" of an Abbreviated New Drug Application ("ANDA") to market a generic version of Kapvay. In May 2013, Concordia Pharmaceuticals Inc. ("Concordia") acquired the rights to the branded Kapvay. A few months later, Concordia and Par entered into a License Agreement (the "Agreement") under which Par was permitted to begin marketing its generic version of Kapvay just one week prior to the expiration of the branded patent. Par then received FDA approval of its ANDA to market the generic version.

In its complaint filed simultaneously with the Consent Order, the FTC alleged that under the Agreement, Concordia also agreed not to market its own generic Kapvay product and not to authorize any other third party to do so. In exchange, Par agreed to share with Concordia a substantial portion of the profits Par would earn on the sales of its generic product. This Agreement protected Par's position as the only seller of a generic Kapvay product—with both volume and pricing implications—until the FDA approved another ANDA (which did not occur until May 2015). In December 2014, after learning of the FTC's investigation, Concordia began selling its own generic Kapvay product. Neither company has admitted to the allegations.

The FTC asserted that Par's secured position as the only seller of the generic version of Kapvay "likely" resulted in supra-competitive prices because of the lack of price competition from any other generic. As explained in the Commission's Analysis to Aid Public Comment, branded pharmaceutical companies will commonly introduce an "authorized" generic of its branded product upon entry of the first generic to stem losses resulting from a shift of sales from the branded drug to the lower-priced generic version. The FTC further argued in the complaint that the agreement not to compete was not reasonably necessary to achieve any efficiency-enhancing purposes, thus it could not be justified under the antitrust rule of reason analysis. While a naked agreement not to compete would often be subject to a per se condemnation, the FTC's analysis suggests that in this context, with the agreement embedded in a more complex licensing agreement, a rule of reason analysis would be appropriate. Presumably, however, if the matter had gone to litigation, the FTC would likely have pursued both per se and rule of reason theories.

The Consent Order prohibits enforcement of the anticompetitive provisions in the Agreement, including the profit-sharing clauses and the restrictions on Concordia's ability to sell an authorized generic version. The Consent Order also prohibits both parties from entering into agreements with any other party that bar or delay entry of an authorized generic, and it requires them to notify the FTC of any patent settlements that restrict entry of authorized generics. It further obligates both parties to establish an antirust compliance program. The FTC is accepting comments on the proposed Consent Order through September 17, 2015.

This settlement reinforces the FTC's long-standing interest in preserving generic competition as a centerpiece of its broader focus on health care competition. As stated by FTC Chairwoman Ramirez earlier this year before the House Judiciary Committee on Antitrust Enforcement, a top priority for the agency has been and continues to be "combating efforts to stifle generic competition." (The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice also has an ongoing price fixing investigation involving generic manufacturers.) While much of the FTC's work in this area has been around "reverse payment" cases, it has also challenged or required divestitures in many pharmaceutical mergers that would allegedly have harmed generic competition. The agency also is concerned with other strategies adopted by branded pharmaceutical companies that may harm entry by or competition from generic drugs. For example, the FTC has been considering potential abuses by branded pharmaceutical companies of REMS safety protocols and so-called product hopping. The matter here was unusual in that it did not arise out of a pending or threatened patent litigation like reverse payment cases, as nearly the entire five-year non-compete term in the Agreement covered the period after expiration of the Kapvay patent.

Pharmaceutical companies—branded and generic—that undertake any action or strategy that is designed to or has the effect of limiting generic competition remain at risk of a potential antitrust challenge by the FTC. Furthermore, settlements with the FTC such as these potentially make the parties possible targets of private party challenges and class action suits.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Bruce D. Sokler
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions