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Lobbyists for the generic drug industry have revealed that proposals, which would have banned multibillion-dollar deals between pharmaceutical giants and generic rivals, were removed from US healthcare legislation at the last minute.
As part of the deals, drugmakers pay off generic competitors in order to keep them out of the market.
They have come under scrutiny from US and European lobbyists, and President Obama had sought to ban such deals under the healthcare legislation.
The Obama administration has made healthcare reform a top priority, and the call to end “pay for delay” deals was just one of a handful of changes needed to fine tune the legislation.
It is estimated such deals between the drugmakers and generic competitors cost consumers $3.5 billion (£2.3 billion) per year.
Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, said the exclusion the proposal was not due to a lack of political support, but the complexity of passing the bill through the reconciliation process.
Copyright Press Association 2010
US Federal Trade Commission