Nexium Reverse Payment Antitrust Litigation
Court: United States District Court, District of Massachusetts
Case No.: 12-cv-12203
Leadership Position: Co-Lead Class Counsel
Wexler Boley & Elgersma is serving as Co-Lead Counsel for the certified End-Payor Class in a case alleging that defendants AstraZeneca and Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals entered into a “reverse payment” settlement pursuant to which AstraZeneca agreed to pay Ranbaxy substantial sums in exchange for Ranbaxy’s agreement to delay marketing a generic version of AstraZeneca’s blockbuster drug Nexium.
The Honorable Judge William C. Young certified the End-Payor Class—comprised of Nexium consumers and third-party payors, such as insurers and health and welfare funds—in late 2013. Defendants later appealed to the First Circuit, asking the court to overturn Judge Young’s certification decision. Managing Partner of Wexler Boley & Elgersma, Kenneth A. Wexler, argued the appeal before the First Circuit on July 31, 2014 and, in early 2015, the First Circuit affirmed Judge Young’s certification decision.
The case went to trial for all purchasers of Nexium before Judge Young in October 2014. After a six-week trial, the jury returned a verdict on December 5, 2014. The jury made key findings in favor of the plaintiffs, including that: 1) AstraZeneca exercised market power within the relevant market; 2) the settlement of the AstraZeneca-Ranbaxy patent litigation included a large and unjustified payment by AstraZeneca to Ranbaxy; and 3) AstraZeneca’s Nexium settlement with Ranbaxy was unreasonably anticompetitive (i.e., the anticompetitive effects of that settlement outweighed any procompetitive justifications). The jury ultimately returned a verdict in favor of AstraZeneca and Ranbaxy, however, finding that they would not have agreed to an earlier launch date even in the absence of their unreasonably anticompetitive settlement. Plaintiffs have appealed the jury verdict.
Judge Young approved settlements of the case between the End-Payor Class and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., and between the End-Payor Class and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Ltd. and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc.
To view a copy of the complaint, click here.