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California Files Suit Against Abbott Laboratories for Scheme to Block Generic

Written by on Thursday, March 20th, 2008

California, the District of Columbia, and seventeen other states have filed suit against Abbott Laboratories for allegedly entering into a scheme to block the generic version of the cholesterol lowering drug TriCor, reported the East Bay Business Times.

The East Bay Business Times reported on the suit as follows:

The prosecutors are suing Abbott as well as two subsidiaries of Brussell-based Solvay — Fournier Industrie et Sante SAS and Laboratoire Fournier SA — in federal district court in Delaware. The prosecutors say the pharmaceutical companies illegally attempted to monopolize the market for drugs containing the ingredient fenofibrate, which regulates cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Abbott licenses from Fournier American rights to the drug and Solvay sells the drug on the European market. . . .

According to the AG’s office, the companies made trivial changes to the formulations of TriCor, and marketed those while withdrawing the original drug from the market. The companies deleted references to the original forms of the drug from national drug databases, according to prosecutors, making it more difficult for a generic version of TriCor to obtain generic status. Meanwhile, the prosecutors say, Fournier obtained patents covering the variations of TriCor, and then filed patent infringement lawsuits against generic companies that tried to compete. The litigation triggered mandatory 30-month periods in which the Food and Drug Administration could not approve generic versions of TriCor.

The companies intend to fight the charges, according to the East Bay Business Times, and argue that they have not engaged in any wrongdoing.

The California Biotech Law Blog will be following this story as it unfolds.


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