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5 August 2014Americas

Akorn settles with FTC to allow VersaPharm merger

US-based injections maker Akorn has agreed to sell its rights to develop, manufacture and market generic tuberculosis injection rifampin to Watson Laboratories to settle charges by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that its proposed acquisition of pharmaceutical company VersaPharm was likely to be anticompetitive.

The agreement will see Akorn divesting its Abbreviated New Drug Application for injectable rifampin, which is currently pending with the US Food and Drug Administration, to Watson.

Akorn intends to buy VersaPharm for approximately $324 million.

According to the FTC, only VersaPharm and two other companies have FDA approval to sell a generic version of injectable rifampin, and there are no viable substitutes for injectable rifampin as a tuberculosis treatment.

It said that if Akorn’s acquisition of VersaPharm had not happened, Akorn would have been likely to enter the generic rifampin injection market, resulting in a “significant” price reduction for the drug.

By contrast, if the acquisition had gone ahead without the sale of the rifampin rights, the combined company would have probably foregone or delayed the introduction of Akorn’s generic injectable rifampin.

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