Amarin Hit With New Antitrust Suit Over Generic Drug Delays

Amarin was hit with federal antitrust claims in New Jersey over its alleged scheme to delay generic versions of the cardiovascular drug Vascepa—its only product—by using exclusive supply agreements to block rivals from accessing the drug’s active pharmaceutical ingredient.

“Amarin’s hoarding” is “contrary to industry practice” and “cannot be justified by any legitimate business reason,” the complaint stated. “The only explanation for Amarin’s various supply agreements is that it has been paying API suppliers to not supply to generic competitors.”

According to Bloomberg, Amarin had been entering into agreements with the only viable suppliers of this critical ingredient since as early as 2012, and the most recent purported agreement was the final nail in the coffin for DRL’s planned icosapent ethyl product. The plaintiff stated it tried to contact these suppliers, along with others that were not in agreements with Amarin, but all were unable to provide the materials quickly enough for DRL’s proposed launch date.

The plaintiff noted that the alleged cornering of the icosapent ethyl API market by Amarin came after DRL prevailed in patent litigation initiated by Amarin in March 2020 over Vascepa. Accordingly, the plaintiff alleged, since Amarin could not convince the courts to stop DRL from entering the market with its product, the defendants resorted to anticompetitive conduct.

“Amarin’s hoarding of icosapent ethyl API supplies is contrary to industry practice, cannot be justified by any legitimate business reason, and can only be explained as part of an anticompetitive strategy to prevent and delay generic competition to its branded Vascepa,” the complaint claimed.

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