The FTC is very concerned about pay-to-delay deals and congress has begun paying attention. Both chambers include language within their respective health reform bills, although the house version is much more restrictive on the practice. Banning it outright.

According to a press release by the FTC, as reported by the AP, the number of pay-to-delay deals between brand-name and generic drug companies rose to 19 last year from 16 in 2008 and 14 the year before.

The practice effectively keeps generics off the market through an agreement between the manufacture of a branded product and potential generic manufactures.

Joshua Slatko of MedAdNews Insider does a nice job of explaining what’s at stake.

The real issue, patent reform, seems to be missing from the discussion.