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Pfizer, Baxter Defeat Saline Solutions Antitrust Case

 |  April 6, 2020

A federal judge has dismissed a proposed class action accusing Baxter International and Pfizer’s Hospira of engaging in an anticompetitive scheme to restrict the output of intravenous saline solutions in order to boost prices. 

US District Judge John Tharp in Chicago on Friday, April 3, ruled that while the complaint claimed both companies participated in the antitrust conspiracy, it only alleged detailed facts about Hospira while making conclusory allegations about Baxter.

The Justice Department’s probe came amid a shortage of IV solutions that dated back to late 2013, when producers began notifying hospitals they might experience delivery delays. 

The solutions are among the most basic, commonly used hospital supplies needed to hydrate patients. 

The US Food and Drug Administration in January 2014 added the solutions to its drug shortage list, at the time saying the shortage was triggered by factors including increased hospital demand, potentially related to flu season. 

In 2015, a bipartisan group of four US senators asked the Federal Trade Commission to probe three companies they said supplied all the saline solution used in the United States – Baxter, Hospira, and B. Braun. 

Pfizer acquired Hospira in 2015. In 2017, Pfizer sold the global infusion therapy business, Hospira Infusion Systems, to ICU Medical.

Full Content: Reuters

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