- This is the first such lawsuit since the Supreme Court last year sided with the FTC against drug makers that ostensibly collude to delay competition from generic drugs. The lawsuit claims that AbbVie and its partner Besins Healthcare filed "baseless patent infringement lawsuits" to delay generic entrants of AndroGel into the market.
- AbbVie also entered into a "pay-for-delay" settlement with Teva.
- The FTC says it wants the companies involved in this "scandal" to "disgorge their ill-gotten gains" and be barred from future anti-competitive activity.
Patent infringement lawsuits are a common strategy for companies with brand-name products seeking to delay generic competitors from entering the market. In some cases, the lawsuits are based on valid claims.
However, AbbVie’s approach to blocking access to generic versions of AndroGel -- testosterone replacement therapy -- has no validity, according to the FTC. Although AbbVie claims that it did not behave improperly or illegally with respect to its efforts to protect AndroGel from patent infringement, the FTC alleges that its strategy forced consumers to overpay by hundreds of millions of dollars.