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Cash is not always king.

In a move that should settle a highly contentious legal issue, the US Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal of a ruling that said cash payments are not the only litmus test for determining whether a patent settlement between drug makers deserves antitrust scrutiny.


The case focused on a so-called pay-to-delay deal between Teva Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline. In these arrangements, a brand-name drug maker reaches a settlement with a generic rival in exchange for ending patent litigation and an agreement for launching a copycat medicine at a future date. The Federal Trade Commission has argued the deals are anti-competitive and cost Americans about $3.5 billion annually in higher health care costs.

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