July 11, 2019

Loestrin purchasers accusing Warner Chilcott and Watson Pharmaceuticals of sidelining generic alternatives to the widely used birth control drug have shot back at the drugmakers’ efforts to slip their antitrust lawsuit, as the buyers insisted there are still too many questions unanswered to stop the case now.

A host of retailers, drug wholesalers, insurance companies and other drug purchasers are suing the pharmaceutical duo in Rhode Island federal court for allegedly cutting a decade-old deal that drove Loestrin rivals off the market, allowing Warner Chilcott to keep demanding a premium for its brand-name contraception.

And in a redacted filing made public on Wednesday, the purchasers blasted the drugmakers’ motion to shut down the lawsuit, stressing that they're still at odds with the pair over many of the facts surrounding the alleged conspiracy, and these unsettled issues need to be untangled at trial. 

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A third drugmaker, Lupin Pharmaceuticals, was initially roped into the sprawling litigation, but it cut a deal with the retail group in May and settled with the end-payors — including health insurance companies, employee welfare benefit programs and individuals — shortly afterward. No information was provided on the retailers’ deal, but details on the end-payors’ settlement are slated to hit the docket in mid-July.

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The end-payors are represented by Hilliard & Shadowen LLP, Miller Law LLC, Motley Rice LLC, and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

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