Law Street Media

FTC Announces Steroid Competition Action

A pharmaceutical manufacturing and bottling factory in a bright laboratory environment. Computer generated image of vaccine vials with liquids inside them.

On July 14, the Federal Trade Commission announced in a press release that they approved a final order regarding charges that Hikma Pharmaceuticals’ $375 million acquisition of Custopharm, Inc. would harm market competition for the corticosteroid drug triamcinolone acetonide, or TCA.

According to the press release, Custopharm is one of only a few companies who produce and sell TCA.  The approved final order “removes any incentive” for soon-to-be parent company Hikma, to cease the development of TCA; thus, preventing harm to the competition in the TCA market.

The consent order requires that Custopharm’s parent company retain and transfer Custopharm’s TCA assets to another of its subsidiaries. Additionally, the company will be required to consult the agency on future TCA-related deals. The FTC states that “Historically, the entry of additional generic pharmaceutical competitors has led to lower drug prices.”

The commission vote to approve the final order was unanimous.      

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