Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has reacted angrily to claims made by the Federal Trade Commission that ‘pay for delay’ agreements between brand-name and generic manufacturers could cut spending on pharmaceuticals in the USA by billions of dollars a year.

The Israeli drugmaker’s US subsidiary was responding to comments from the FTC’s chairman Jon Leibowitz who said that an internal analysis projects that stopping “collusive” settlements between brand and generic pharmaceutical firms would save consumers $3.5 billion a year. However Teva said it was “astonished” by the FTC’s assertion that consumers would benefit from proposed legislation that would make it harder for generic and branded companies “to settle complex patent cases”.

The company adds that the settlements the Commission opposes “have produced billions of dollars in taxpayer and consumer savings – savings that are nowhere reflected in the FTC’s analysis”. The latter’s “purported savings are based on the flawed assumption that branded companies will voluntarily forego additional years of profits if that is the only way they can settle a case”, Teva said.

The drugmaker went on to state that “the reality is that there will be fewer settlements resulting in the loss of guaranteed savings” from deals that would otherwise occur in the absence of the legislation. It added that “each of the settlements Teva has entered into have been pro-consumer, and [the firm is] proud of the resulting $128 billion plus in savings to be delivered to the public by removing 138 years of monopoly protection”.

Teva concluded by saying that it supports legislation that “differentiates between pro-consumer and anti-competitive settlements, instead of trying to restrict the parties ability to negotiate altogether”.