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New legislation making it illegal for brand name companies to offer generic drug makers cash and other incentives in return for delaying the launch of generic drugs has drawn strong support from a top Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulator. Testifying before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, FTC Commissioner Jon Leibowitz told Congress that ?agreements that delay generic competition harm all who pay for prescription drugs: individual consumers, the federal government, state governments trying to provide access to health care with limited public funds, and American businesses striving to compete in a global economy.?
The legislation, sponsored by Rep Bobby Rush (D, Ill), drew sharp opposition from representatives of branded drug manufacturers, who argued that settlements between generic and brand name drug companies help to avoid costly litigation that drains resources from both industries. Billy Tauzin, a former congressman and current president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said, ?The bill?would have a chilling effect on these settlements and could potentially impact the future innovation of lifesaving medicines.?