US competition watchdog probing Teva's inhaler patents - report

Teva CEO Richard Francis  credit: Teva spokesperson
Teva CEO Richard Francis credit: Teva spokesperson

According to "The Washington Post", the Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether Teva and other companies are using slight changes to products to extend patents.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is responsible for enforcing competition law, has opened an investigation into Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TASE: TEVA; NYSE: TEVA). According to a report in "The Washington Post", last week, the FTC sent Teva, headed by Richard Francis, a demand for information, including internal correspondence, analyses, and financial data relating to its patents registered in the US on inhalers for treating asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

According to "The Washington Post", the FTC claims that drug companies, among them Teva, made slight changes to their products with the aim of maintaining their patents and block the possibility of generic competition. The newspaper says that Teva has until July 24 to respond.

"The Washington Post" connects the investigation to the campaign of Democratic legislators in the US against the pharmaceuticals industry. The legislators claim that the companies make cosmetic changes to products in order to extend the validity of the patents on them. Last November, the FTC called on several companies, and Teva among them, to relinquish patents of hundreds of products.

Teva responded to a report by Reuters citing "The Washington Post" that it "believes that its patents are properly listed in the Orange Book and continues to stand behind the company’s intellectual property."

The "Orange Book" is the name by which the US Food and Drug Administration’s publication entitled "Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations", which lists patents on drugs, is known.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on July 2, 2024.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2024.

Teva CEO Richard Francis  credit: Teva spokesperson
Teva CEO Richard Francis credit: Teva spokesperson
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