About Antitrust Lawsuits
What is Antitrust Law?
Antitrust law in the United States prohibits unfair business practices and behavior, regulating monopolies and other anti-competitive business tactics that can harm consumers and other businesses. Antitrust law is designed to protect the rights of consumers and businesses who can be taken advantage of by large corporations with too much power.
The basis of antitrust law is in fair competition and sound business ethics. Antitrust litigation usually occurs when a corporation or several corporations conspire to control a marketplace by reducing competition in that market or to artificially control prices. These activities are illegal because they reduce competition in the market place and harm consumers by forcing them to pay too much for a product.
NastLaw attorneys are nationally recognized for their antitrust experience and have been appointed to significant leadership positions in some of the largest antitrust cases. Our lawyers have successfully litigated dozens of major antitrust cases to protect consumers and ensure fair competition for businesses.
Our Antitrust Lawyers
NastLaw lawyers are leading the way in some of the biggest and most significant antitrust cases. It is common to find one of our lawyers holding the lead counsel position, or playing a prominent role in the steering committee for many major antitrust cases.
Firm founder, Dianne Nast currently serves as a member of the executive committee for several antitrust cases, including In re: Effexor XR Antitrust Litigation (D. N.J.), Modafinil Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Pa.) and Skelaxin Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Tenn.).
Some of the cases we have helped lead in the past include:
- Airlines Transportation Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 869 (N.D. Ga.)
- Augmentin Antitrust Litigation, C.A. No. 04-CV-23 (E.D. Va.)
- Carbon Dioxide Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 940 (M.D. Fla.)
- Catfish Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 928 (N.D. Miss.)
- Chlorine and Caustic Soda Antitrust Litigation, Master File No. 86-5428 (E.D. Pa.)
- Corn Derivatives Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 414 (D.N.J.)
- Glassine & Greaseproof Paper Antitrust Litigation, No. 80-891 (E.D. Pa.)
- Oxycontin Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1603 (S.D.N.Y.)
- Ovcon Antitrust Litigation (SAJ Distributors, Inc., et al. v. Warner Chilcott Holdings Company III, Ltd., et al., Civil Action No. 1:05cv02459 (D. District of Columbia))
- Steel Drums Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 887 (S.D. Ohio)
- Steel Pails Antitrust Litigation, Master File No. C-1-92-213 (S.D. Ohio)
- Text Messaging Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1997 (N.D. Ill.)
- Waste Haulers Antitrust Litigation, Master File No. 87-3717 (E.D. Pa.)
- Wellbutrin XL Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 2:08-cv-2431 (E.D. Pa.)
Antitrust Lawsuits in Pharmaceutical Industry
Some examples of our antitrust work in the pharmaceutical industry include:
Augmentin Antitrust Lawsuit
The attorneys of NastLaw prosecuted claims on behalf of a class of direct purchasers in Augmentin Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Va.), which ultimately settled for $62.5 million.
That case was filed on behalf of direct purchasers of Augmentin alleging that Defendant GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”) violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act by unlawfully maintaining its monopoly over Augmentin and preventing entry of generic equivalents.
Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged that GSK misled the United States Patent and Trademark Office resulting in the issuance of invalid patents that extended the patent monopoly for Augmentin beyond its legal expiration date.
Effexor XR Antitrust Lawsuit
In re Effexor XR Antitrust Litigation, Master File No 1:11 cv 196 LG-RHW (D. NJ), is an antitrust case where Plaintiffs seeks damages for the delayed entry of generic versions of Wyeth’s Effexor XR, an encapsulated extended release version of the compound venlafaxine hydrochloride.
Plaintiffs allege that although Wyeth’s marketing exclusivity for the original compound patent for Effexor XR lapsed on June 13, 2008, the first generic equivalent was kept off the market for two more years, until June 2010, and other generics remained off the market until June 2011. The reason: Wyeth engaged in an anticompetitive scheme to prevent and delay the approval and marketing of generic versions of Effexor XR.
Wyeth’s alleged scheme included:
- Fraudulently procuring three patents for extended release formulations of venlafaxine hydrochloride
- Wrongfully listing those patents in the FDA Orange Book; and
- Engaging in serial sham litigation to block and delay multiple generic companies from entering the market for extended release venlafaxine hydrochloride capsules.
Lipitor Antitrust Lawsuit
In re Lipitor Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2332 (D.N.J), is a federal antitrust action brought on behalf of a class of direct purchasers seeking to recover overcharges for the delayed market entry of generic versions of Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium).
Plaintiffs allege that generics were prevented from entering the market for Lipitor until November 30, 2011, over 20 months after the patent expired. Defendant Pfizer, at first acting alone and then later with Ranbaxy, illegally caused this delay by implementing an overarching anticompetitive scheme.
The alleged scheme included:
- Perpetrating a fraud upon the United States Patent and Trademark Office to procure Patent No. 5,273,995 (the ‘995 patent), which Pfizer then wrongfully listed in the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Orange Book;
- Filing a sham Citizen Petition with FDA;
- Instituting objectively baseless sham litigation against Ranbaxy with respect to the fraudulently procured ‘995 patent and certain process patents;
- Entering into an anticompetitive and unlawful reverse payment patent settlement agreement with Ranbaxy; and
- Thwarting other generic companies’ efforts to obtain judicial declarations that Pfizer’s various unasserted patents were invalid, unenforceable and/or would not be infringed by generic Lipitor, in order to avoid the triggering of Ranbaxy’s anticipated 180-day first-to-file marketing exclusivity and thereby sustaining Pfizer’s and Ranbaxy’s ability to, in concert, bottleneck other generic companies from launching generic Lipitor earlier than November 30, 2011.
Nifedipine Antitrust Lawsuit
Dianne Nast served as co-lead counsel for In re Nifedipine Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1515 (D.D.C.), an antitrust case that settled for $35 million. Plantiffs alleged that Defendants violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by entering into an unlawful market allocation agreement.
Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged that although Defendants Biovail and Elan each held competing FDA-approved ANDAs for generic Adalat CC, Biovail, along with its exclusive U.S. marketing and distribution agent and partner, Teva, entered into an agreement with Elan by which: (a) Biovail/Teva was granted the exclusive right to market generic Adalat CC in the United States for fifteen years; and (b) Elan was precluded from selling its generic Adalat CC products, in exchange for payment to Elan of a minimum of $73.5 million over six years.
Plaintiffs alleged that the agreement enabled Defendants to charge supracompetitive prices for generic Adalat CC and share in the resulting profits, reduced competition, and caused Plaintiffs and members of the Class to incur significant overcharge damages.
Paxil Antitrust Lawsuit
In the Paxil Antitrust Litigation Master File, No. 00-CV-6222 (E.D. Pa.), Ms. Nast served as Co-Lead Counsel and represented a class of indirect purchasers (including consumers and third-party payors). In the case, which settled for $65 million, the Plaintiffs alleged that GSK violated the Sherman Act by wrongfully maintaining or attempting to maintain a monopoly on Paxil.
Plaintiffs alleged four different actions by GSK that gave rise to antitrust liability:
- GSK pursued unjustified patent litigation to delay the entry of generic competition in the market for Paxil;
- GSK committed fraud on the U.S. Patent Office, wrongfully obtaining patents that prevented competition;
- GSK committed fraud on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by improperly listing patents in the Orange Book; and
- GSK marketed Paxil in a manner that violated the antitrust laws through its anti-competitive wielding of monopoly power in the Paxil market.
Provigil Antitrust Lawsuit
King Drug Company of Florence, Inc. et al. v. Cephalon, Inc. et al., No. 2:06-cv-1797 (E.D.Pa.), is a civil antitrust action under Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1-2, seeking treble damages arising out of Defendants’ alleged unlawful exclusion of generic competition from the market for Provigil, a prescription drug marketed by Cephalon as a “wakefulness promoting agent,” and indicated for the treatment of certain sleep disorders, including narcolepsy.
Plaintiffs allege that Cephalon entered into a conspiracy with each of its generic competitors to restrain trade, and engineered a larger conspiracy in restraint of trade and a scheme to monopolize the United States market for generic Provigil. The purpose and effect of these conspiracies and scheme was to prevent and delay generic competition for Provigil.
Skelaxin Antitrust Lawsuit
In re Skelaxin (Metaxalone) Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2343 (E.D. Tenn.), is an antitrust action seeking treble damages arising out of the defendants’ unlawful exclusion of generic substitutes from the market for metaxalone, a prescription muscle relaxant.
Plaintiffs allege that defendant King Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Perpetuated baseless and sham patent litigation against generic competitors to enforce a patent for the “invention” of observing an inherent bioavailability property of metaxalone
- Filed and litigated baseless and sham litigation over another patent that simply “informed” about this inherent natural property;
Kept wrongful listings of these patents in the United States Food and Drug Administration’s “Orange Book;” and
- Filed baseless petitions with the FDA seeking to require generic companies to display data about these clinically inconsequential bioavailability properties on their approved FDA labels.
Further, Plaintiffs allege that King and Mutual Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. entered into an unlawful market allocation agreement in which Mutual agreed not to launch a generic version of Skelaxin in the United States in exchange for payments by King that have to date exceeded $200 million.
Wellbutrin SR Antitrust Lawsuit
In re Wellbutrin SR Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litigation C.A. No. 04-5525 (E.D. Pa.) is an antitrust case where the attorneys of NastLaw represented a class of direct purchasers of pharmaceuticals that alleged Defendant SmithKline Beecham Corporation d/b/a GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”) violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2, by unlawfully extending its monopoly over Wellbutrin SR, a brand name prescription antidepressant. The case settled for $49 million.
Specifically, Plaintiffs’ complaint alleged that GSK had filed sham litigation against manufacturers of generic forms of Wellbutrin SR, baselessly asserting that those manufacturers had infringed GSK’s patents, to prevent those competitors from bringing their generic products to market. Plaintiffs also asserted a Walker Process claim, alleging that GSK had obtained one of these patents through fraud on the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Plaintiffs claimed that, as a result of GSK’s sham litigation and Walker Process fraud, they and other members of the direct purchaser class paid more for Wellbutrin SR than they would have in the absence of GSK’s alleged anticompetitive conduct.
Generic Digoxin and Doxycycline Antitrust Lawsuit
In re Generic Digoxin and Doxycycline Antitrust Litigation MDL No. 2724 (E.D. Pa.) is an antitrust case, where Dianne M. Nastlaw is Co-Lead Counsel. These lawsuits allege a broad conspiracy among generic drug manufacturers to reduce competition and fix prices for several generic drugs. As a result, prices for certain drugs have surged as much as 8,000% since 2013.
Class action lawsuits, coordinated in Pennsylvania federal court by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, allege that nine companies colluded to raise the prices of two drugs, Digoxin and Doxycycline.