February 9, 2007

The FTC will continue to pursue an anticompetitive case against Barr Laboratories following a federal district court ruling rejecting the generic firm's motion to dismiss the case, agency sources said.

"We felt we had a very good legal basis for our position," Marcus Meier, assistant director for the FTC's Bureau of Competition, said. "We are glad the judge saw it that way." FTC representative Mitchell Katz added that he expects the suit against Barr to move forward.

In the decision, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied Barr's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which the FTC filed over a reverse-payment offer in which Barr would have agreed to delay the launch of Balziva tablets, a generic version of Warner Chilcott's Ovcon 35, in exchange for $20 million. The court feared that without federal intervention, the generic firm could enter into another anticompetitive agreement, according to court papers.

Barr had asked the court to dismiss the case after an earlier settlement between Warner and the FTC essentially dissolved the terms of the reverse-payment deal and allowed Barr to immediately launch its generic version.

The ruling is not expected to affect sales of generic Balziva, according to Barr representative Carol Cox, who said the company is willing to settle with the FTC.