AstraZeneca Seroquel XR Generic Delay Antitrust Class Action

A number of antitrust class actions in recent years have centered on covert agreements between a company with a popular and lucrative drug and one or more other companies who may wish to put out a generic version. In this antitrust class action, the complaint claims that AstraZeneca companies entered into agreements with Handa Pharmaceuticals, LLC and Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. to delay the entry of generic versions of AstraZeneca’s Seroquel XR into the market.

The class for this action is all persons and entities in the Indirect purchaser States and territories who indirectly bought, paid for, or provided reimbursement for some or all of the price of brand or generic Seroquel XR, not for resale, between September 29, 2011 until the anticompetitive effects of the defendants’ behavior end.

AstraZeneca owns the drug Seroquel XR. It is used to treat schizophrenia, certain aspects or episodes of bipolar disorder, and some depressive disorders. The complaint claims it has annual sales of more than $1 billion.

Two companies, Handa Pharmaceuticals, LLC and Accord Pharmaceuticals, Inc., filed Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for generic versions of Seroquel XR with different strengths. The two companies then sent AstraZeneca notice letters that they would try to launch the drugs before the expiration of AstraZeneca’s patent on the drug, claiming that the patent was invalid or would not be infringed by the new drugs.

AstraZeneca then filed complaints against both Handa and Accord for patent infringement. However, the complaint says that during the litigation process, “it became apparent that Handa’s proposed generic version … would not infringe the” patent in question. In the meantime, the FDA also granted tentative approval to Handa’s generic.

Now, it seemed that AstraZeneca could lose its monopoly on the drug. To delay the entry of Handa’s generic to the market, the complaint alleges, AstraZeneca paid Handa to drop its litigation and to keep its drug out of the market for nearly five years. This would allow AstraZeneca to keep earning large amounts on the drug without any lower-priced generic competition.

The complaint says, “The Supreme Court has determined that resolving patent infringement litigation by having the plaintiff in the patent litigation make a large and unjustified payment to the allegedly infringing defendant violates federal antitrust law” as long as the other elements of the law are satisfied.

According to the complaint, “Handa subsequently assigned this unlawful agreement to Par Pharmaceuticals, Inc.” It also sold its generic to Par. “Par performed the agreement, sold [the generic] at supracompetitive prices, and shared the illict profits with Handa.” Thus, the complaint alleges, Par became “an active participant and co-conspirator” in the conspiracy begun by AstaZeneca and Handa.

The complaint suggests that AstraZeneca entered into a similar agreement with Accord.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Antitrust

Most Recent Case Event

AstraZeneca Seroquel XR Generic Delay Antitrust Complaint

October 1, 2019

A number of antitrust class actions in recent years have centered on covert agreements between a company with a popular and lucrative drug and one or more other companies who may wish to put out a generic version. In this antitrust class action, the complaint claims that AstraZeneca companies entered into agreements with Handa Pharmaceuticals, LLC and Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. to delay the entry of generic versions of AstraZeneca’s Seroquel XR into the market.

AstraZeneca Seroquel XR Generic Delay Antitrust Complaint

Case Event History

AstraZeneca Seroquel XR Generic Delay Antitrust Complaint

October 1, 2019

A number of antitrust class actions in recent years have centered on covert agreements between a company with a popular and lucrative drug and one or more other companies who may wish to put out a generic version. In this antitrust class action, the complaint claims that AstraZeneca companies entered into agreements with Handa Pharmaceuticals, LLC and Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. to delay the entry of generic versions of AstraZeneca’s Seroquel XR into the market.

AstraZeneca Seroquel XR Generic Delay Antitrust Complaint
Tags: Antitrust, Keeping Generics Off the Market, Pharmaceuticals