On April 5, 2018 the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts granted preliminary approval to Impax Laboratories Inc. for a $20 million midtrial settlement with a class of End-Payors, ending this antitrust pay-for-delay lawsuit. In total, settlements, pending final 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.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated a dozen proposed class actions in February 2014 in Massachusetts federal court under U.S. District Judge Denise J. Casper.  Cohen Milstein played an integral role in spearheading plaintiff discovery in the case, handling all meet and confer negotiations, preparing and defending each of the name plaintiff depositions, assisting with plaintiff-related briefing and advising Co-Lead counsel in briefing plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.  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.

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

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., which now owns Medicis, ultimately settled for $23 million, which left Impax Labs Inc. as the last remaining Defendant to face trial.  After 10 days of a rare pay-for-delay trial, Impax and the End-Payors settled for $20 million.  In July 2018, the Court granted final approval to the Impax settlement, bringing total settlements in the case to $44 million.  

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