On behalf of Meijer Inc., Meijer Distribution Inc., and a proposed class of drug purchasers, Hagens Berman has filed a class-action lawsuit against brand-name drug maker Shire and generic drug maker Actavis. The complaint alleges that Shire and Actavis conspired to delay the availability of affordable generic versions of Shire’s ADHD drug, Intuniv. The conspiracy, which delayed generic drug availability for more than a year and a half, allegedly cost purchasers of the drug hundreds of millions of dollars.
According to the complaint, Shire and Actavis accomplished this through a pay-for-delay settlement, in which Shire agreed not to launch an authorized generic version of Intuniv to compete with Actavis during Actavis’ first six months on the market—an illegal “no-authorized-generic” agreement.
The Supreme Court has long held that such reverse-payment deals are anticompetitive and therefore illegal, but, the complaint alleges, Shire and Actavis tried to conceal the reverse payment in their carefully worded settlement and license agreements, using a language that the Federal Trade Commission, the regulatory agency responsible for addressing anticompetitive behavior, has recently acknowledged may signal a reverse payment. And, although Shire and Actavis are defending this case by contending there was no no-AG agreement, the companies’ twin press releases on the day they executed their agreement confirmed that both companies knew and understood that Shire would not launch an AG.
In October 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts denied the defendants’ bid to dismiss the complaint. On Sept. 24, 2019, the district court certified a class of all direct purchasers of brand and generic Intuniv, and appointed Thomas M. Sobol and Lauren G. Barnes as lead class counsel.
In October 2020, the district court denied all of the defendants’ motions for summary judgment directed to the direct purchasers’ claims and granted the plaintiffs’ motion on causation. The court also largely denied the motions to exclude expert opinions.
At the same time, the direct purchaser class reached a binding settlement agreement with Actavis. Under the terms of the agreement, the direct purchaser class will release Actavis from all claims; in exchange, the class will receive $19.9 million and Actavis’s assistance with the admissibility of its documents and data at trial.
TOP PHARMA LAW FIRM
Hagens Berman is one of the most successful litigation law firms in the U.S. taking on pharmaceutical companies and has achieved more than $320 billion in settlements against Big Pharma largest sellers and manufacturers for antitrust schemes, pay-for-delay, IP shams and other forms of wrongdoing that drive up the costs of prescription drugs for consumers and others.
The direct purchasers continue to press claims against Shire. Following a hiatus due to both the pandemic and various arbitration-related motions, Judge Burroughs has now set a trial date of Oct. 2, 2023 for the case against Shire.
The district court set a new trial date of October 2, 2023 for all claims against Shire.
The district court granted final approval of the direct purchaser class settlement with Actavis.
The district court denied the defendants’ motions for summary judgment while granting the purchasers’ motion on causation. The court also largely denied the parties’ motions to exclude expert testimony.
A trial scheduled to begin July 14, 2020, has been continued without a new trial date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.