Don’t expect ‘pay-for-delay’ battle to cease
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Patent settlements between branded and generic drug companies, sometimes called “pay-for-delay” deals, aren’t going away any time soon.
(THE NEWS: Report: Banning ‘pay for delay’ settlements likely won’t happen. For the full story, click here)
Critics of the deals already have had a tough enough time getting them banned. The apparent absence of language banning the deals from the final version of the Senate appropriations bill, not to mention the Republican majority in the House next year, makes a ban unlikely to happen. And in September, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a ruling it had made in favor of the deals in a case over a settlement between Bayer and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries subsidiary Barr Labs concerning a generic version of the anthrax treatment Cipro (ciprofloxacin).
The Federal Trade Commission and members of Congress, including Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., had fought long and hard against the deals, with the backing of advocacy groups and The New York Times’ editorial board, contending that they cost consumers $3.5 billion a year and cause generic drug launches to be delayed by an average of 17 months longer than when no settlements are in place.
Supporters of the deals, on the other hand, pointed to a report by RBC Capital Markets showing that generic drug companies prevailed in 76% of cases in which a settlement was reached, but only 48% of cases that went to trial. They even considered the term “pay-for-delay” a misnomer because it would be illegal for a generic drug company to delay launch after the branded drug’s patent had expired, and most of the settlements allow generic launch months or even years ahead of patent expiration.
Court blocks Mullany from joining CVS Caremark
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware judge granted Walmart’s request for a preliminary injunction on Wednesday and has blocked — for now — CVS Caremark from hiring former Walmart executive Hank Mullany as president of CVS/pharmacy, according to published reports.
Vice chancellor J. Travis Laster scheduled a trial for early March.
As previously reported, Walmart sued CVS Caremark, alleging that Mullany’s contract forbids him from working for a company that competes with Walmart. In the filing, Walmart said that before Mullany accepted that position, he signed a contract in which he agreed that if he left the company, he would not join or be involved with a company that competes with Walmart for at least two years, the Associated Press reported. Walmart said Mullany has detailed knowledge about Walmart and its strategies, and it would be harmful to the company if he shared that information with CVS.
In the ruling on Wednesday, the judge found that the scope and duration of the noncompete agreement seemed reasonable, AP reported.
In addition, the judge rejected CVS’ argument that it should not be viewed as a competitor of Walmart, and that the noncompete agreement that Mullany signed should not be enforced because he did not work directly for Walmart’s pharmacy operation, the AP reported.
Shaw’s, New England Patriots Foundation continue to tackle hunger relief
FOXBOROUGH and WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — A supermarket chain, part of the Supervalu family of grocery stores, teamed up with the charitable arm of a professional football team to donate funds to end hunger in the area.
Shaw’s and the New England Patriots Foundation donated $234,502.33 to area food banks to support children’s feeding programs, including Patriots Kids Cafes, which provide children with 6,750 meals per week at seven different locations in the Boston area. The donation was part of the Scan campaign, a joint fundraising effort established in 2007 to fight hunger.
“The current number of people in need of food relief is tremendous, and that need takes an extra level of urgency when you realize the number of children who are going hungry,” said Larry Wahlstrom, Shaw’s president. “The initiative to help fight hunger is a very important one to both Shaw’s and our customers, and we would like to thank all of those who made this donation to the food banks possible. The generosity of our customers will help ensure kids are getting the nutrition they need.”