On February 21, 2017, purchasers of the Lidoderm pain patch won class certification in an antitrust multidistrict litigation against Endo Pharmaceuticals and others.  Judge William H. Orrick for the Northern District of California found that both direct purchasers and end-payors proved common injuries with alleged delays of a generic version of the drug.

Trial is currently set for January 16, 2018.

Cohen Milstein serves as Co-Lead Counsel to the end-payor plaintiffs.

Case Background

Consolidated in 2014, this multidistrict litigation involves claims from Lidoderm buyers that Teikoku Pharma USA Inc. and Endo International Plc reached an improper $266 million deal with Watson Pharmaceuticals, which is now owned by Allergan PLC, in underlying patent litigation to delay the launch of generic versions of the blockbuster anesthetic. Purchasers of the drugs allege that the agreements constituted illegal “pay-for-delay” arrangements that violate competition law.

Direct purchaser plaintiffs include pharmaceutical wholesalers, pharmacies, hospitals, and retail stores that purchased brand and generic Lidoderm patches directly from defendants and supplied the product to others, according to court documents.  End-payor plaintiffs include employee health and welfare benefit plans, unions or individuals who purchase the drug from third parties, including third party payors who may have provided Medicare Part D reimbursement for the price of Lidoderm.

Both the buyers and end-payors of Lidoderm in the lawsuit say that they overpaid for the patch because of a “reverse payment” patent litigation settlement that led to inflated costs. Defendants, however, argued that the plaintiffs could not show classwide proof of injury or damages from the agreement.

At a hearing in November 2016, prior to certification of the two classes, Judge Orrick indicated he was inclined to certify both plaintiffs groups even though they may require separate, complex methods to calculate aggregate damages.

The class period for from the End-Payor Plaintiffs runs from August 23, 2012, through August 1, 2014.

In July 2017, Law360 recognized In re: Lidoderm Antitrust Litigation, as one of the biggest competition cases of 2017.

The case is styled: In re Lidoderm Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 3:14-md-02521, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.