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Product Hopping

Similar or Alternative Terms Meaning the Same Thing Product Switching
Related Term(s) n/a

Definition

"Product Hopping" is a tactic by which brand name pharmaceutical companies can try to obstruct generic competitors and preserve monopoly profits on a patented drug by making modest reformulations that offer little or no therapeutic advantages. Prior to facing generic competition, a brand drug company can, for example, simply withdraw its original product, forcing consumers to switch to the reformulated brand drug and enabling the branded company to keep its market exclusivity and preventing consumers from obtaining the benefits of generic competition.

This "product-hop" may succeed despite the fact that consumers would not likely choose the new product. As the FTC states: "In the pharmaceutical industry … the success of a product-switching scheme does not depend on whether consumers prefer the reformulated version of the product over the original, or whether the reformulated version provides any medical benefit." Source: FTC Files Amicus Brief Explaining That Pharmaceutical "Product Hopping" Can Be the Basis for an Antitrust Lawsuit


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