Anthony Kennedy

Justices hear dispute over lower-cost biotech drugs sales

The Supreme Court on Wednesday considered a drug company's fight to keep a generic version of its biotech drug off the market for an additional six months that would mean billions more in sales and higher costs to the public.

The case before the justices involves the cutting-edge field of biologics — drugs made from living cells instead of chemicals. The drugs have led to major advances in treating cancer and other diseases, but often come with a massive price tag.

A 2010 law allows cheaper generic versions known as biosimilars to be produced after a 12-year exclusive run for the original.

At issue is whether companies that make biosimilars must tack on an extra six...