Antitrust suit involving generic Lipitor, Effexor XR back on

A United States appeals court has revived an antitrust lawsuit against four drug makers, alleging that they hamstrung generics for Lipitor and Effexor XR.

The plaintiffs, a coalition of labor unions and retailers, including Rite Aid and Walgreens, accused four drug makers of reverse settlement payment deals, in which a drug’s patent holder pays the accused infringer not to produce the patented item. The plaintiffs allege Ranbaxy accepted such payments from Pfizer to delay generics for Lipitor, while Wyeth accepted payments from Teva to delay Effexor XR.

A federal judge earlier dismissed the claims, but this week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia reversed the ruling.


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