On March 28, 2018 Impax Laboratories Inc. reached a $20 million midtrial settlement with a class of End-Payors, ending this antitrust pay-for-delay lawsuit. In total, settlements, which are pending Final Court Approval, exceed $44 million.

As a member of the Court-appointed Executive Committee, Cohen Milstein played an integral role in spearheading Plaintiff discovery in the case.

Case Background

Plaintiffs, including Third-Party Payors and consumers, who purchased, paid and/or provided reimbursement for Solodyn or its generic equivalents, other than for resale, since July 23, 2009, filed this consolidated class action complaint on September 12, 2014 in the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts.

Plaintiffs allege that Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., manufacturer of the world’s No. 1 branded dermatology medication, Solodyn, which exceeded more than $500 million in sales in 2006, shortly after receiving Food and Drug Administration approval, bribed and colluded with generic drug manufactures, including Impax Laboratories, Sandoz Inc., Lupin Limited and Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and other Defendants, to hold off on manufacturing generic versions of Solodyn until 2011.

Plaintiffs’ further allege, Medicis, starting in 2006, tried to enforce Solodyn’s invalid (and therefore unenforceable) U.S. Patent No. 5,908,838 in order to stave off competition, thereby also buying them time to produce high strength versions of Solodyn and switch the Solodyn market from legacy strength Solodyn to a new, higher strength or “add-on strength” Solodyn, which did not face imminent generic competition.

Such collusive and unlawful behavior, Plaintiffs allege, impaired the Solodyn market for years by not only stymying the availability of less expensive generic form of the medication, but keeping the product at an unnecessarily inflated price in the United States, including after July 2009.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated a dozen proposed class actions accusing Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. and other drug makers in February 2014 in Massachusetts federal court under U.S. District Judge Denise J. Casper.

Generic drug manufacturers Sandoz Inc. and Lupin Ltd. settled in April 2017 for a combined $1.8 million.

The Court certified the classes of purchasers in October 2017. On February 13, 2018, the First Circuit denied Defendants’ request to appeal the class certification ruling.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., which now owns Medicis, ultimately settled last month for $23 million, which left Impax Labs Inc. as the last remaining Defendant to face trial.  After 10 days of trial, Impax and the End-Payors settled for $20 million.

Case Style: In re Solodyn Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 1:14-md-02503-DJC, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts