Federal Judge Rules FTC can ask Watson CEO to Testify
August 18, 2010
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission did not overstep its authority when it sought to subpoena Watson Pharmaceutical''s chief executive in an antitrust case, U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay judge said, reports Reuters. He also recommended that Paul Bisaro, Watson''s CEO, be forced to testify in the FTC''s case. The judge suggested in a July order that antitrust enforcers might have crossed the line in probing allegations that Cephalon Inc settled patent disputes with Watson and others by paying them not to bring out a cheaper version of Provigil, a lucrative sleep-disorder drug made by Cephalon. The FTC filed suit against Cephalon in the case in 2008 and has sought to subpoena Bisaro since then. Under complicated rules governing the sale of generic drugs, Watson has the exclusive right to produce a generic version of Provigil, also known as modafinil, and retained that right even if it did not market the generic. The FTC has been battling what it calls "pay-for-delay" settlements in court, with mixed success. The agency has pushed for legislation to ban the deals but has failed thus far.