Warner Chilcott Co. LLC, Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc. must face multidistrict litigation accusing them of entering into illegal reverse-payment deals to keep a generic of the birth control medication Loestrin off the market, according to an opinion unsealed Monday in Rhode Island federal court.
Chief U.S. District Judge William E. Smith said the purchasers bringing the so-called pay-for-delay litigation had sufficiently pled their antitrust and fraud allegations in a 118-page order released to the parties on Aug. 8. The judge’s only cut was to free Warner and Watson’s parent companies, Allergan PLC and Actavis Inc., as there were no direct allegations about them.
The 2013 suits brought by three sets of Loestrin purchasers — corporate direct purchasers; retailers who opted out of that first group, including CVS and Walgreens; and indirect purchasers, including employee welfare benefit programs and individual buyers — allege that Warner entered into agreements with Lupin and Watson to delay the market entry of a generic version. Through these settlements, Warner could delay getting competition and keep its prices up.
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