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In a setback to the Federal Trade Commission, a federal judge has dismissed the first-ever lawsuit filed by the agency against a drug maker for abusing the citizen’s petition process in order to thwart generic competition to a best-selling medicine.

However, the FTC appears to have won a key point that may make it more difficult for drug makers to fend off such challenges in the future. And the judge left the door open for the FTC to refile its lawsuit, although an FTC spokeswoman declined to comment when asked if the agency will do so.


The ruling comes as lawmakers and government agencies look for ways to address rising prescription drug costs. And studies have shown that brand-name drug makers have frequently filed petitions to delay generic rivals, a concern that prompted the Food and Drug Administration to issue a rule to limit use of such petitions.

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