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Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act
Acronym / colloquial name Hatch-Waxman amendments
Legislative history
Major amendments
Regulation of therapeutic goods in the United States
Prescription drugs
Over-the-counter drugs

The Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act, informally known as the "Hatch-Waxman Act" [Public Law 98-417], is a 1984 United States federal law which established the modern system of generic drugs. The informal name comes from the Act's two sponsors, representative Henry Waxman of California and senator Orrin Hatch of Utah.

Hatch-Waxman amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Section 505(j) 21 U.S.C. 355(j) sets forth the process by which would-be marketers of generic drugs can file Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) to seek FDA approval of the generic. Section 505(j)(5)(B)(iv), the so called Paragraph IV, allows 180 day exclusivity to companies that are the "first-to-file" an ANDA against holders of patents for branded counterparts.

Hatch-Waxman Amendments grant generic manufacturers standing to mount a validity challenge without incurring the cost of entry or risking enormous damages flowing from any possible infringement. Hatch-Waxman essentially redistributes the relative risk assessments and explains the flow of settlement funds and their magnitude. Hatch-Waxman gives generics considerable leverage in patent litigation: the exposure to liability amounts to litigation costs, but pales in comparison to the immense volume of generic sales and profits. [1]



  1. ^ Schering-Plough v. FTC (11th Cir. 2005)

See also

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