Calif. Prosecutor Sues Boehringer, Teva Over Aggrenox Pay-For-Delay Agreement
A California prosecutor is suing Boehringer Ingelheim and a Teva subsidiary, saying their $120 million agreement to push back the release of a generic Aggrenox blood thinner illegally delayed market competition for over seven years.
The case follows Teva’s $225 million class action lawsuit settled earlier this year, over similar practices related to a generic antibiotic.
In August 2008, Boehringer settled a patent infringement case with Barr Pharmaceuticals, paying the company $120 million up front plus annual royalties in return for Barr postponing the marketing of its generic until July 2015 — effectively preserving 82 percent of Boehringer’s remaining patent exclusivity, according to the district attorney of Orange County.
In that time, Aggrenox brought in about $400 million in annual revenues. In the complaint, the DA said the “reverse payment agreement” between the two companies forced patients in California to pay higher prices for the drug — a combination of aspirin and Persantine, approved by the FDA in 1999 to reduce the risk of stroke.