by Daniel A. Crane –
Michael Carrier’s case study on Provigil offers new support for the view that Big Pharma is to blame for stymieing competition, retarding innovation, and inflating prices in the drug industry. Carrier argues that Cephalon was able to thwart generic entry by a combination of anticompetitive strategies. It entered into a reverse payment settlement agreement with generics seeking to enter the market. Having already spilled considerable ink on the patent settlements issue. I will focus my commentary on Carrier’s “product hopping” claims—essentially, that Cephalon rolled out Nuvigil merely to thwart competition. Since I have no expertise with the relevant products and no particular dog in the fight between Cephalon and its antagonists, I limit myself to three very general observations about the case study and its ostensible morals for public policy.