Senate panel clears 'pay for delay' bill

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The Generic Pharmaceutical Association said in a statement Thursday that patent settlements have never prevented competition beyond a patent's expiration.

"Additionally," GPhA says, "the bill includes a provision that would retroactively extend the ban on pro-consumer patent settlements to products already on the market. That means patients who today rely on safe, affordable generic medications for their treatment could potentially lose access to these medications, leaving them with only one, more expensive product as an option."

The bill, championed by Sens. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), now goes to the Senate, where it has died in the past. The Republican-controlled House is also seen as unlikely to pass the bill.