UPDATED: Jury sides with AZ in crucial pay-for-delay case over Nexium generics
- A U.S. District Court jury in Massachusetts has sided with AstraZeneca in a critical, first-of-its-kind trial centering on a pay-for-delay lawsuit over Nexium generics. This is the first such trial since the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling last year finding that pharma firms can be sued over especially dubious pay-for-delay arrangements.
- In 2008, AZ settled a patent lawsuit with Indian generics manufacturer Ranbaxy Labs over the latter company's efforts to market a Nexium generic. The settlement was for more than $1 billion. Several payers' groups then brought suit against AstraZeneca over that settlement, claiming that it was unjustifiably large and a violation of antitrust laws.
- In its verdict, the jury indicated that plaintiffs had not shown compelling evidence that the settlement reached was sufficiently unjustified and harmed the purchasers' groups.
Although there are still two similar cases pending in Pennsylvania court, this is an unmitigated win for AZ. It's possible that some other pay-for-delay suit—for instance, the current Federal Trade Commission (FTC) case against AbbVie over AndroGel generics—will make history after last year's SCOTUS ruling, but this one isn't it.
"AstraZeneca is pleased with the jury's verdict," wrote the company in response to the verdict. "The Company has always maintained that the plaintiffs' allegations were without merit."
An AZ spokesperson told BioPharma Dive that it had no further comment to add at this time regrding the two pending suits in Pennsylvania.
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