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Pharmaceuticals

Michigan Law Review

2009

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Unsettling Drug Patent Settlements: A Framework For Presumptive Illegality, Michael A. Carrier Oct 2009

Unsettling Drug Patent Settlements: A Framework For Presumptive Illegality, Michael A. Carrier

Michigan Law Review

A tidal wave of high drug prices has recently crashed across the U.S. economy. One of the primary culprits has been the increase in agreements by which brand-name drug manufacturers and generic firms have settled patent litigation. The framework for such agreements has been the Hatch-Waxman Act, which Congress enacted in 1984. One of the Act's goals was to provide incentives for generics to challenge brand-name patents. But brand firms have recently paid generics millions of dollars to drop their lawsuits and refrain from entering the market. These reverse-payment settlements threaten significant harm. Courts nonetheless have recently blessed them, explaining …