NEW YORK (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission is suing drugmakers AbbVie and Teva, saying they conspired to temporarily keep generic versions of AbbVie's low-testosterone drug AndroGel off the market.
The FTC says AbbVie Inc. and its partner and Besins Healthcare filed baseless patent infringement lawsuits against Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Perrigo Co. to delay the approval and sale of less-expensive generic versions of the drug. AbbVie then struck a deal with Teva that will allow Teva to sell a generic at a later date. The FTC says that agreement included payments to Teva the government alleges were illegal.
The agency is asking a court to throw out the agreement between the companies.
AndroGel is AbbVie's second-best selling drug. The company reported $1.04 billion in revenue from AndroGel in 2013, but that was a 10-percent drop from the previous year.
AbbVie said its lawsuits were appropriate and that the settlement agreements were legal and in the best interests of both companies. Teva didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
AbbVie, of North Chicago, Illinois, was spun off from Abbott Laboratories at the start of 2013.