A generic competitor to Solodyn® would increase competition and decrease profits. According to allegations in lawsuits filed over the past two years, the makers of Solodyn engaged in meritless litigation in order to get makers of generic drugs to accept a cash payment for not bringing a competing drug to market. In this way, the makers of Solodyn® could keep their profits from Solodyn rolling in, while the public paid a higher price.
By Kurt Orzeck for Law360.com
Rite Aid Corp. on Monday launched an antitrust action in Pennsylvania federal court accusing Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., the maker of acne medication Solodyn®, of standing in the way of generic competition, shortly after Walgreen Co. and others filed a similar pay-for-delay case.
The suit alleges Medicis executed unlawful deals with competitors to keep them from bringing generic versions of Solodyn® off the market. Medicis improperly claimed it was entitled to have the U.S. Food and Drug Administration delay approval of abbreviated new drug applications for the generics, according to Rite Aid.
In addition to the suit that a group of grocery chains including Walgreen, the Kroger Co., Safeway Inc., HEB Grocery Co. LP, and Albertstons LLC filed against Medicis late last month, a dozen similar proposed class actions were consolidated in Massachusetts federal court last February. Rite Aid's new complaint said the company is included in the proposed class definition in actions pending in the MDL.
Plaintiffs allege that Medicis and other companies violated federal and state antitrust laws by filing sham patent litigation and engineering reverse payment deals, among other methods.
"But for Medicis's anticompetitive scheme, including its agreements with generic competitors, robust generic Solodyn® competition would have begun much earlier than it actually did and plaintiffs and/or their assignors would have received the benefit of that competition in the form of lower prices," Rite Aid's suit said. "The injuries of plaintiffs and/or their assignors are injuries of the type the antitrust laws were designed to prevent and flow from that which makes defendant's acts unlawful."
Each of the dozen putative class actions in the Massachusetts MDL cropped up last year, with many filed by labor unions such as the United Food & Commercial Workers. The decision to move the disputes into Massachusetts was something of a defeat for Medicis and the other defendants, which had told the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation that they preferred for the cases to be heard in Arizona or, alternatively, Pennsylvania.
Massachusetts is the originating court for three of the suits, compared to eight for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Just one of the cases was filed in Arizona. The panel said that, given the fact that the drug in question has been circulated across the nation, any number of district courts could have served as the transferee district.
Rite Aid said it filed the new complaint on its own behalf and as the assignee of McKesson Corp., a pharmaceutical wholesaler that bought the drug from Medicis and resold it to the store.
A Rite Aid spokeswoman declined comment Monday. Representatives for Medicis didn't immediately respond to requests for comment late Monday.
Rite Aid is represented by Monica L. Rebuck and Barry L. Refsin of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller.
Counsel information for Medicis wasn't immediately available.
The case is Rite Aid Corp. et al. v. Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., case number 1:15-cv-00673, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
--Additional reporting by Michael Lipkin, Alex Lawson and Matt Fair. Editing by Emily Kokoll.
Original Source: Law360.com
Due to the drug maker's misleading statements about the side effects of Solodyn®, hundreds of individuals have sustained irreparable damages. If you or a loved one suffered from lupus, hepatitis, or vasculitis from taking Solodyn®, act now by requesting your free consultation—you may be eligible to receive financial compensation.LET'S GET STARTED