A health plan for a carpenters’ union filed a class action lawsuit against Celgene, claiming the drugmaker engaged in anti-competitive practices to maintain its monopoly on Thalomid and Revlimid.
The New England Carpenters Health Benefits Fund claims Celgene hamstrung generic drug manufacturers’ attempts to get competing versions of the drugs to market. Alleged tactics included refusing to provide generic drugmakers with samples to prove bioequivalence, exploiting FDA safety requirements to indefinitely postpone the availability of generics, and fraudulently patenting procedures to ensure safety in the production process to block generics.
These tactics forced the health plan to pay higher prices for the products. In cases where generic competitors managed to obtain samples of the drugs from a source other than Celgene and file ANDA applications, the company filed sham patent lawsuits — against Barr, Lannett, Natco and Dr. Reddy’s — as well as baseless citizen petitions, to keep them off the market, the complaint says.