The sector inquiry found that pay-for-delay agreements accounted for 22% of all the patent settlements concluded between 2000 and June 2008. Although agreements that did not restrict generic entry (52%), or that imposed restrictions without providing a value transfer (26%), were much more common than pay-for-delay agreements, the Commission decided to closely monitor patent settlements, "in particular where the motive of the agreement is the sharing of profits via payments from originator to generic companies to the detriment of patients and public health budgets".
The monitoring activity, as well as the willingness shown by the Commission to take action against anti-competitive settlements, resulted in an immediate decline in the number of reverse payment settlements. According to the survey conducted in the 1st monitoring Report, pay-for-delay agreements fell to 10% in the year following the sector inquiry. The 3rd Report confirmed this finding (the 2nd Report highlighted a further decline of pay-for-delay agreements to 3% of all patent settlements in 2010, but such reduction was not confirmed in subsequent surveys).
The 4th Report shows that the number of pay-for-delay settlements concluded each year, after the sector inquiry, has stabilized (with the exception of 2010) at an average 10% of all the patent settlements concluded in the EU pharmaceutical sector (this number excludes settlements concluded in Portugal, where a new law caused a significant increase in patent settlements in 2012). At the same time, the new survey certifies a change in the type of value transfer provided by originator companies. The sector inquiry found that pay-for-delay agreements provided generic companies with patent licenses in 64% of the cases, direct payments in 51% of the cases, and supply and/or distribution agreements in 20% of the cases. According to the 4th Report, instead, most of the agreements concluded in 2012 contained a non-assert clause permitting early entry (83%), coupled with a license to the generic company (33%), or with a license and a supply agreement (8%), while a monetary payment was present only in 17% of the cases.