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Bayer Joins Merck in Fighting Generic Drugs Case

For more than a decade, drugmakers have battled U.S. Federal Trade Commission accusations that they have colluded to forestall the introduction of dozens of generic medicines, costing buyers as much as $3.5 billion a year.

The fight hits a climax March 25 when the Supreme Court hears arguments on what the FTC calls “pay for delay” patent settlements. Under those accords, the FTC says, a brand-name drugmaker pays a would-be rival to push back the release of a low-cost generic medicine. Drug companies say the deals have the opposite effect, clearing the way for generic competition by resolving patent issues.