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Justice Department Says Reverse Payments Illegal

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Justice Department Says Reverse Payments Illegal

Business

Justice Department Says Reverse Payments Illegal

Justice Department Says Reverse Payments Illegal

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Justice Department officials have been looking into a case in which Bayer paid another drugmaker to delay selling a generic version of Bayer's popular antibiotic Cipro. The payment was challenged by drug store chains like CVS and Rite Aid. The Federal Trade Commission says payments that delay the introduction of cheaper generics force consumers to fork out billions more a year for prescription drugs. Lawmakers are weighing legislation that would ban the payments.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

NPR's business news starts with drug companies keeping out generics.

(Soundbite of music)

MONTAGNE: It's called pay for delay. Justice Department officials have been looking into a case in which the drug maker Bayer paid another drug maker to delay selling a cheaper generic version of Bayer's popular antibiotic Cipro. The payment was challenged by some big drugstore chains like CVS and Rite Aid. The chains are part of a growing tide of opposition to an industry practice that goes back to the 1990s.

The Federal Trade Commission says payments that delay the introduction of cheaper generics force consumers to fork out billions more a year for prescription drugs. Lawmakers are now weighing legislation that would ban the payments.

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