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AbbVie Gets Reprieve In $63B Allergan Merger Antitrust Case

 |  January 26, 2022

A federal judge in New York tentatively scrapped two antitrust cases: one concerning direct purchasers like CVS and Walgreens and another with end payers as the plaintiffs. The drugmaker defendants were accused of delaying the market entry of copycats of the hypertension blockbuster, which AbbVie snagged by way of its US$63 billion megamerger with Allergan.

Judge Lewis Liman dismissed complaints from both sets of plaintiffs, giving them until February 22 to file an amended complaint. The court’s opinion is temporarily sealed to provide time to make redactions but will be made public on January 31, according to court documents filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Monday, January 24.

The case that pits plaintiffs Walgreens, Kroger, Albertsons, and HEB against drugmakers AbbVie, Allergan, Hetero Labs, Glenmark, Amerigen, and Teva Pharmaceutical concerns claims that the pharmas schemed to boost profits by keeping lower-cost generics of AbbVie’s blood pressure drug off the market.

Monday’s decision is rooted in a 2013 Bystolic settlement with numerous generic drugmakers including Actavis, Alkem, Amerigen, Glenmark, Hetero, Indchemie, and Torrent, many of which are also involved in the antitrust litigation.

The settlement provided licenses for the companies to market their Bystolic copycats. In response, direct purchasers sued, alleging that those settlements violated antitrust laws.

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