Klobuchar, Grassley urge FTC to examine whether delay tactics are keeping biosimilars off the market

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate whether delay tactics are being used to keep biosimilars from entering the market. Strategies such as "pay for delay" deals—in which brand-name and generic drug first use pay-off agreements to postpone the introduction of less-expensive substitutes—could make some medications out of reach for patients. In a letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons, the senators said: "Without biosimilar competition, U.S. patients and payers will likely see additional price increases on biologics in the years to come." Klobuchar and Grassley pointed to a recent patent settlement for AbbVie's adalimumab (Humira), noting "that while European patients will benefit from biosimilar competition later this year, Americans may be without access to Humira biosimilars for almost 5 more years." They added, "In light of the importance of biosimilar competition to drive down prices and improve the quality of life for American patients, we urge the FTC to examine global patent settlements relating to biosimilars to ensure they are not in violation of antitrust laws."

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