Nexium Purchasers Say Namenda Injunction Helps Their Case
Buyers of heartburn drug Nexium are seeking an injunction against Ranbaxy and AstraZeneca in pay-for-delay litigation, arguing that their motion is supported by a recent Second Circuit ruling upholding an injunction requiring Actavis to keep an older version of Alzheimer’s drug Namenda on the market.
In a motion filed last week in U.S. district court in Massachusetts, plaintiffs inIn re: Nexium (Esomeprazole) Antitrust Litigation point to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that withdrawing Namenda would be anticompetitive.
The case stems from a “no authorized generic” pledge that AZ made with Ranbaxy in a 2008 settlement agreement to not launch a competing version of Nexium.
AZ and Ranbaxy have asked the court to deny the injunction motion. Ranbaxy says the plaintiffs have an “epic case of denial” concerning the outcome at trial.
In December, a jury found that AZ and Ranbaxy didn’t conspire to delay launching a generic Nexium. The plaintiffs have requested a new trial.
It’s not clear when the court will rule on the motion for injunction.
McGuireWoods attorney Brian Malkin says it’s unclear if the Namenda ruling will help the plaintiffs, saying that unlike the Nexium case, New York v. Actavis was not a pay-for-delay situation. Rather, he explains, it was a “forced switch” or product shortage situation.
Knowing that generic Namenda IR would be on the market some months later, Actavis decided to create an artificial shortage of the product to force patients to convert to and buy the newer XR version since it is one of the only products to treat Alzheimer’s Disease, he said.
AstraZeneca and Ranbaxy did not respond to a request for comment by press time. — Jonathon Shacat