The Federal Trade Commission and several lawmakers are trying to block reverse payments -- a practice in which major drugmakers pay generic drug companies to delay launching their products -- because they say it violates antitrust rules. U.S. courts, however, seem to be divided over the issue, as drug firms have won two of three cases involving such payoffs. Proposals to prohibit the payments also have been opposed by both brand-name and generic-drug companies and are unlikely to gain the approval of Congress this year.

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