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Antitrust violation?

Pfizer Stirs Concern with Plans to Sell Heart Drugs Only as Pair (NYT)

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Pfizer's plan might seem to violate antitrust law, which can prohibit companies from "tying" products together or refusing to sell one unless customers buy another. But antitrust lawyers said the company's plans were legal, as long as the F.D.A. approved the drugs in combination.

"It's the F.D.A. that's doing the tying," said Herb Hovenkamp, a law professor at the University of Iowa. "Assuming the F.D.A. accepts Pfizer's test results and certifies this drug only when it's taken in conjunction with Lipitor, then that would then become the government's restraint, not Pfizer's restraint."

We should find out what percentage of the development costs of torcetrapib were paid for with taxpayer money and NIH grants before we let either Pfizer or the FDA off the hook on this one.


Happy birthday, Carey! I look forward to whirlyball (whatever that is!). :)