U.S. Sues to Block Amgen’s $27.8 Billion Takeover of Horizon Therapeutics

Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday be sued for a block He argued that Amgen’s $27.8 billion acquisition of pharmaceutical company Horizon Therapeutics would stifle competition in the pharmaceutical industry.

The deal will allow Amgen to leverage its large portfolio of hot-selling drugs to pressure insurers and others to prioritize two uncompetitive Horizon medicines, the FTC said. . Commissioners of the Office approved the lawsuit by a vote of 3 to 0.

The commission’s move is the most aggressive to date Signaling over the years this thing would be tougher In scrutinizing pharmaceutical mergers. The agency has long forced merging companies to sell medicines that treat the same types of diseases, but it is very unusual to try to block a merger outright. The case is unusual because Amgen and Horizon do not sell competing products.

Holly Vedova, a senior official on the commission, said the agency’s lawsuit “sends a clear signal to the market, allowing pharmaceutical conglomerates to strengthen monopolies at the expense of consumers and fair competition.” “The FTC will have no hesitation in objecting to any proposed merger.”

Amgen did not respond to a request for comment.

The merger, announced late last year, was set to be one of the biggest pharmaceutical deals in recent years.

The FTC said the merger would allow Amgen to pressure insurance companies and industry intermediaries known as pharmacy benefits managers to pay for two drugs Horizon has a monopoly on. These two drugs treat chronic intractable gout, an autoimmune disease known as thyroid eye disease and an inflammatory condition.

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