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The California insurance commissioner is supporting an unusual gambit by a patent attorney who filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that Allergan fraudulently obtained patents in order to stifle generic rivals and maintain high prices for two of its medicines.

In a May 2018 lawsuit, Zachery Silbersher accused Allergan, which was recently bought by AbbVie (ABBV), of providing false information to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office concerning a pair of drugs used to combat Alzheimer’s symptoms. By doing so, the company won patents that, for a time, delayed generic competition and, as a result, allowed it to charge government health care programs monopoly prices.

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