February 18, 2015

A Rhode Island judge on Tuesday cleared the way for Loestrin buyers to appeal the dismissal of their pay-for-delay claims against Warner Chilcott PLC, which would see another circuit court forced to decide whether patent settlements must include cash payments to face antitrust scrutiny.

U.S. District Judge William E. Smith signed off on a mixture of final judgments and stays in a series of antitrust suits brought by pharmacies, health plans and drug cooperatives challenging Hatch-Waxman Act settlements Warner Chilcott inked with generic-drug makers Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc. over the oral contraceptive.

The result is that the putative classes of direct purchasers and end payors can now ask the First Circuit to review Judge Smith's September ruling that the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark FTC v. Actavis ruling means that antitrust cases can only go forward over so-called pay-for-delay settlements that involve large cash payments, not licenses and other kinds of consideration at issue in the Loestrin dispute.

The full article can be read here.