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US: Pfizer must face Lipitor antitrust suit

 |  August 23, 2018

According to Reuters, a federal judge has rejected Pfizer’s bid to escape an antitrust lawsuit accusing it of conspiring with India’s Ranbaxy Laboratories to delay sales of generic versions of its cholesterol drug Lipitor.

US District Judge Peter Sheridan in Trenton, New Jersey, on Tuesday, August 21, rejected arguments by Pfizer that the state-law antitrust claims insurers and others who purchased Lipitor have made are preempted by federal patent law.

Buyers of each drug claimed that the drug companies conspired to delay marketing generic versions with an illegal settlement agreement. They also said the drugmakers engaged in various unfair practices before the US Patent Office and the Food and Drug Administration.

The district court had dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims in opinions that were among the first discussing how to apply the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision that patent settlements can be antitrust violations in FTC v. Actavis.

According to Reuters, the appeals court’s reversal means that essentially all claims in two consolidated cases, from multiple plaintiffs, are back on the table, in some cases years after the lower court dismissed them. The appeals court held that the plaintiffs’ claims are plausible enough to proceed through discovery. It also stated the lower court didn’t properly credit the plaintiffs’ allegations with the benefit of the doubt in deciding whether to allow them to proceed.

Full Content: ReutersBloomberg BNA

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