Merck and Glenmark engaged in anticompetitive behavior by keeping a generic version of Zetia off the market, creating a monopoly and manipulating the drug price, according to a newly filed lawsuit seeking class action status in a Virginia federal court.
Plaintiff FWK Holdings alleges Merck violated antitrust laws by persuading Glenmark to stay out of the market. In return, Merck agreed not to launch its own generic of Zetia and hiked the price of the drug, in an arrangement that the plaintiff claimed was worth $800 million in sales to Glenmark.
Without the unlawful agreement, both companies would have launched generic versions of the drug as early as December 2011, with more generics following in six months. With that many generics available, Zetia prices would have been driven down to competitive levels, the complaint argues.