Pharma Mergers May Have Tougher Time Clearing FTC Under New Review Scheme
FTC is working with Canadian and European enforcement agencies to come up with new approach to merger reviews that could look at effects on innovation and companies' past conduct. FTC to review closed mergers to see if corrective action is necessary, FTC acting chair says.
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Pfizer’s acquisition of Arena without FTC intervention and Hikma’s acquisition of Custopharm with one product divestiture shows the commission is bound by anticompetitive facts of a deal. A more controversial merger may not get through, former FTC attorney says.
Agencies seek public comment on how they can modernize merger guidelines to enforce antitrust laws. List of questions, including what types of evidence show that a merger could reduce competition, indicate pharma and other mergers will face greater scrutiny.
Legislation to prevent pay-for-delay deals, product hopping and sham citizen petitions, and to require the FTC to study the role of pharmacy benefit managers in the drug supply chain get unanimous committee vote. They may have a good shot at passage given recent actions by President Biden and the FTC, and bipartisan interest in drug pricing.