Supreme Court Decision Could Mean Faster Generic Drugs

What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

While the case isn't getting as much attention as gay marriage, the financial impact could be measured in billions.

Last week the Supreme Court began hearing arguments in two cases about gay marriage. While that drew a lot of attention, whatever the justices decide won’t have much direct effect on you unless you’re gay, or have a strong opinion on the subject.

That’s not true of another big case, this one about generic drugs. As NPR reports, the court also has to decide whether or not brand-name drug makers can continue their “pay to delay” schemes.

Over the past decade it’s become more common for brand-name companies to give their generic competition millions of dollars to stay off the market. As we’ve written before, the FDA already grants years of exclusivity to new drugs, which get heavily promoted and entrenched before cheaper copies can enter the market. But even after they can debut, big brands extend their monopoly through legal settlements with the generic brands.

Brand-name drug maker Solvay tweaked the formula for a prescription testosterone gel (AndroGel) whose patent had expired long ago; they figured they could make it just different enough to get a new patent and block competition. Generic competitors challenged it, and one of them was prepared to launch a product that cost one-sixth of Solvay’s. So Solvay offered the generics a combined $42 million a year to back off.

They said sure, we’ll make more money that way – fine. Business as usual, done deal. How’d this wind up in the Supreme Court? Because the Federal Trade Commission stepped in and said it’s not right.

So the government is now making the case that generics are purposely giving up in legal battles and keeping cheaper options out of consumer hands because it’s more profitable for them to do so. If the justices ultimately agree, it could mean cheaper healthcare for many of us.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: Considering a Fixer-Upper? 15 Ways to Avoid a Money Pit

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,990 more deals!