The Federal Trade Commission has approved an application by Teva to reopen and modify its decision and order in connection with the 2012 merger of Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Actavis Inc.

The Commission had alleged that the merger might lessen future competition for a number of generic drugs, including the generic version of the abuse-resistant opioid painkiller sold under the brand name Embeda. The 2012 decision and order required Watson and Actavis to supply Embeda to Pfizer Inc. for a period not to exceed four years after Pfizer’s relaunch of Embeda, which occurred in January 2015. The decision and order also required Watson and Actavis to assist in the transfer of technology for manufacturing Embeda to Pfizer or a third party. In 2016, Teva acquired Actavis’s rights and obligations under the Embeda supply agreement.

Teva seeks to extend, at Pfizer’s request, the Embeda supply agreement for an additional period because Pfizer has not yet completed the technology transfer for Embeda manufacturing to a third party. Without Teva’s supply of Embeda, Pfizer will be unable to supply patients with Embeda after December 2018.

The Commission vote to approve the application was 4-0-1, with Commissioner Christine S. Wilson recused. (FTC File No. 1210132; the staff contact is Elizabeth Piotrowski, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2623.)

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