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FTC Sues Barr, Warner Over Generic Pill

November 08, 2005|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Warner Chilcott Corp. were accused Monday of blocking generic production of oral contraceptive Ovcon in a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission.

According to the FTC complaint, Warner Chilcott entered into a $20-million agreement with Barr that prevented Barr's generic Ovcon from entering the U.S. market for five years.

California joined 20 other states and the District of Columbia in supporting the FTC suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

According to the FTC, Barr filed an application with the Food and Drug Administration in 2001 to make and sell a generic version of Ovcon. The FTC also said Barr planned to sell its version of Ovcon at a 30% discount.

"The agreement between Warner Chilcott and Barr is a naked agreement not to compete and to share the resulting profits between a branded drug seller and its only prospective generic competitor," FTC Chairwoman Deborah Platt Majoras said.

Barr said it outlined the terms of the deal to the FTC before it was consummated.

"We intend to vigorously defend the agreement," Barr Chief Executive Bruce Downey said.

Privately held Warner Chilcott vowed to fight the charges.

Shares of Barr fell 90 cents, or 1.6%, to $56.80.

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