Plaintiff states alleged that the makers of Suboxone, a drug used to treat opioid addiction, engaged in a scheme to block generic competitors and raise prices. Specifically, they are conspiring to wtich Suboxone from a tablet version to a flim in order to prevent or delay generic entry. The states allege that the manufacturers engaged in “product hopping” in which a company makes slight changes to its product to extend patent protections and prvent generic alternatives. The complaint was filed under seal.
Twenty states filed a federal lawsuit against six generic drug manufacturers, alleging that they entered into long-running and well coordinated illegal conspiracies in order to unreasonably restrain trade, artificially inflate and manipulate prices and reduce competition in the United States for two drugs: doxycycline hyclate delayed release, an antibiotic, and glyburide, an oral diabetes medication. The lawsuit was filed under seal to avoid compromising a continuing investigation. In the complaint, the states allege that the misconduct was conceived and carried out by senior drug company executives and their marketing and sales executives. The complaint further alleges that the defendants routinely coordinated their schemes through direct interaction with their competitors at industry trade shows, customer conferences and other events, as well as through direct email, phone and text message communications. The states further allege that the drug companies knew that their conduct was illegal and made efforts to avoid communicating with each other in writing or, in some instances, to delete written communications after becoming aware of the investigation. The states allege the anticompetitive conduct, including price-fixing and price maintenance, market allocation and other anticompetitive acts, caused significant, harmful and continuing effects in the country’s healthcare system. The states sought an injunction to prevent the companies from engaging in illegal, anticompetitive behavior and also sought equitable relief, including disgorgement. An additional 20 states joined the complaint in March 2017.
In May 2015, the FTC settled a “pay-for-delay” suit against Cephalon for injunctive relief and $1.2 billion, which was paid into an escrow account. The FTC settlement allowed for those escrow funds to be distributed for settlement of certain related cases and government investigations. In August 2016, forty-eight states filed suit in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Cephalon alleging anticompetitive conduct by Cephalon to protect the profits it earned from having a patent-protected monopoly on the sale of its landmark drug, Provigil. According to the complaint, Cephalon’s conduct delayed generic versions of Provigil from entering the market for several years. The complaint alleged that as patent and regulatory barriers that prevented generic competition to Provigil neared expiration, Cephalon intentionally defrauded the Patent and Trademark Office to secure an additional patent, which a court subsequently deemed invalid and unenforceable. Before it was declared invalid, Cephalon was able to use the patent to delay generic competition for nearly six additional years by filing patent infringement lawsuits. Cephalon settled those lawsuits by paying competitors to delay sale of their generic versions of Provigil until at least April 2012. Consumers, states, and others paid millions more for Provigil than they would have had generic versions of the drug launched by early 2006, as expected. A settlement was filed with the complaint, which includes $35 million for distribution to consumers who bought Provigil.
The US and plaintiff states sued to block the merger of two of the country’s largest health insurers. The complaint alleges that their merger would substantially reduce competition for millions of consumers who receive commercial health insurance coverage from national employers throughout the United States; from large-group employers in at least 35 metropolitan areas, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver and Indianapolis; and from public exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act in St. Louis and Denver. The complaint also alleges that the elimination of Cigna threatens competition among commercial insurers for the purchase of healthcare services from hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers. According to the complaint, the merger would eliminate substantial head-to-head competition in all these markets, and it would remove the independent competitive force of Cigna, which has been a leader in the industry’s transition to value-based care. the court granted the injunction. Anthem appealed to the DC Circuit, which affirmed the district court.
Eighteen plaintiff states and the FTC challenged the merger of Dollar Tree, the largest chain of “dollar” stores (deep discount stores) and Family Dollar Stores, the nation’s third largest dollar store chain. The complaint claimed the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition in numerous markets by: (1) eliminating direct and substantial competition between Dollar Tree and Family Dollar; and (2) increasing the likelihood that Dollar Tree will unilaterally exercise market power. This, according to the complaint, would violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act and each state’s applicable antitrust and consumer protection laws. The states sought a permanent injunction to prevent the merger, along with costs and attorney fees. The parties reached a settlement under which 330 stores in the 18 states would be divested to Sycamore partners and run as a new dollar store chain, Dollar Express. The agreement also required the defendants to report future acquisitions in any of the affected markets and to pay over $865,000 to reimburse the costs and fees of the plaintiff states.
The FTC and states alleged that the companies had entered into a “pay-for-delay” arrangement, whereby Perrigo paid Alpharma to withdraw its generic version from the market for Children’t ibuprofen.According to the complaint, in June 1998, Perrigo and Alpharma signed an agreement allocating to Perrigo the sale of OTC children’s liquid ibuprofen for seven years. In exchange for agreeing not to compete, Alpharma received an up-front payment and a royalty on Perrigo’s sales of children’s liquid ibuprofen. The FTC received $6.25 million to compensate injured consumers. The states received $1.5 million in lieu of civil penalties. the parties were enjoined from future agreements.
Health system sought to purchase two cardiology practice groups in the Portland Maine area and employ them at its Portland hospital. On two previous occasions, the practice groups had sought to merge and the Attorney General had disapproved the transaction. The parties agreed to a settlement with a number of injunctive provisions for a term of five years.
United States and Plaintiff States v. Election Systems and Software, Inc. No. 10-cv-00380 (D.D.C. 2010)
The U.S. Department of Justice and nine plaintiff states filed suit against Election Systems and Software, Inc.’s (“ES&S”) acquisition of Premier Election Solutions, Inc. (“Premier”). ES&S, the largest provider of voting systems in the United States, acquired Premier, a subsidiary of Diebold, Inc. and the second largest provider of voting equipment systems. The acquisition was well under the HSR reporting thresholds. After this acquisition, ES&S provided more than 70 percent of the voting equipment systems used in elections held in the United States. The complaint alleged that because ES&S’s acquisition of Premier joined the two closest competitors in the provision of voting systems, it was likely that states and local governments would have seen higher prices and a decline in quality and innovation in voting equipment systems.
The states and USDOJ reached a settlement with ES&S under which ES&S will sell Premier’s intellectual property for all past, present and in-development voting equipment systems to another competitor. The buyer will have the ability to compete for contracts to install new voting systems using the Premier product. ES&S is prohibited for 10 years from competing for new
installations using a Premier product. The buyer will also receive copies of all existing
Premier service contracts so that it can compete for contracts that are up for renewals.
Plaintiff state challenged merger of two aggregate and hot mix asphaltcompanies which would allegedly reduce competition for paving projects in southern Maine. Pke, the acquiring company, agreed to 1. Sell stone mined from its Westbrook Quarry in sizes appropriate for use in specified Maine governemtn projects to any firm intending to use the stone to produce hot mix for use in those projects for the next four years and at a price not to exceed the price it charged in 2006, adjusted annually; 2. Enter into an agreement (subject to AG involvement) permitting any firm performing a State of Maine Department of Transportation project to locate a portable hot mix plant into Pike’s Westbrook Facility also for the next four years;
3. Provide written notice to the Attorney General at least sixty (60) days prior to acquiring an ownership or controling interst in aggregate resources or hot mix asphalt
plants located in the State of Maine from firms engaged in the building and maintenance of roads; and pay $20,000 in investigative costs.
34 states filed suit alleging that Warner Chilcott entered into an illegal agreement with Barr Pharmaceuticals to raise the prices of Ovcon, an oral contraceptive. The lawsuit alleged that after Barr Pharmaceuticals publicly announced that it planned to have a generic version of Ovcon on the market by the end of the year, Warner Chilcott paid Barr Pharmaceuticals $1 million for an agreement designed to prevent Barr’s generic product from coming to market. Under the terms of the alleged agreement, once Barr received FDA approval to market generic Ovcon, Warner Chilcott had 90 days to pay Barr $19 million, after which Barr would refuse to bring the cheaper generic version to the market. The lawsuit alleged that as a result of the agreement, Warner Chilcott paid Barr a total of $20 million to keep it from marketing its generic version of Ovcon. In additon to a payment of $5.5 million, the settlement prohibits Warner Chilcott, for ten years, from entering into any agreement that would have the effect of limiting the research, development, manufacture, or sale of a generic alternative to one of its drugs. Furthermore, Warner Chilcott must provide the states notice of certain agreements it has entered into with generic manufacturers, and must continue to make its records available to the states for inspection to determine whether the company is complying with the terms of the agreement.