AbbVie Unit To Face Antitrust Trial On Alzheimer Drug

AbbVie unit Forest Laboratories and another drug company lost their bid Friday to head off an antitrust trial in federal court in Manhattan over their alleged scheme to delay generic versions of the Alzheimer’s disease treatment Namenda through unlawful patent settlements, reported Bloomberg Law. 

Judge Colleen McMahon mostly denied summary judgment motions seeking to end the class action, which is led by a pension fund representing “indirect” Namenda buyers. A parallel lawsuit on behalf of “direct” purchasers like drug distributors settled in 2020 for $750 million.

In 2019 Allergan and its subsidiaries, Forest Laboratories reached a settlement of $750 million with a plaintiff class of direct purchasers of Namenda (memantine), a drug to treat moderate-to-severe dementia of Alzheimer’s disease.

In 2014, Forest became a wholly owned subsidiary of Actavis, which thereafter changed its corporate name to Allergan. In 2014, the State of New York filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York alleging that Forest was acting to prevent or delay generic competition to Namenda in violation of federal and New York antitrust laws and committed other fraudulent acts in connection with its commercial plans for Namenda XR, an extended release form of the drug, according to Allergan’s 2018 annual filing. The district court granted the state’s motion for a preliminary injunction, which was later affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. 

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