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FTC Approves Final Order Preserving Future Competition in Generic Injectable Tuberculosis Drug Market

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Akorn, Inc.’s acquisition of VersaPharm Inc. and its parent company, VPI Holdings Corp., would have likely been anticompetitive.

Under the order, first announced in August 2014, Akorn is required to divest its Abbreviated New Drug Application for generic injectable rifampin – which is currently pending before the Food and Drug Administration – to Watson Laboratories, Inc.

According to the FTC’s complaint, only VersaPharm and two other firms currently have FDA approval to sell generic injectable rifampin. There are no viable substitutes for rifampin as a course of treatment for tuberculosis. The FTC alleged that if Akorn had consummated its acquisition of VersaPharm as originally proposed, the combined company would have been likely to delay or cancel the introduction of Akorn’s generic injectable rifampin.

The Commission vote approving the final order was 5-0. (FTC File No. 1410162; the staff contact Jasmine Y. Rosner, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-3558)

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Room CC-5422, Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.