Supreme Court

Supreme Court to Take on Case of Generic Drug Timing

Drug makers pay to keep generic pills off the market


The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up a multibillion-dollar fight between the drug industry and federal antitrust enforcers, a case that may determine how quickly low-price generic medicines reach the market.

The justices today said they will use a case involving Abbott Laboratories (ABT) to scrutinize the "pay for delay" agreements that the Federal Trade Commission says cost drug buyers $3.5 billion each year. Under those accords, brand-name drugmakers pay other companies to hold off selling generic versions. The pharmaceutical industry says the agreements are legitimate settlements of patent disputes.