Feds Eye 'Pay-for-Delay' Deals That Keep Generic Drugs Off the Market


The Hatch-Waxman Act was originally designed to encourage generic drug companies to challenge the patents on name-brand medications, paving the way for cheaper drugs to occasionally enter the market before patents expire. Good, right? But somewhere along the way, the act's initial intent got twisted, leaving us with "pay-for-delay" deals that actually keep cheaper generic drugs off the market. In this arrangement, generics companies that challenge patents held by brand-name drug companies agree to settle by delaying their entry into a market in return for a payment.