Sun Pharma Must Face Ranbaxy Antitrust Class Actions

Sun Pharmaceutical has lost a bid to avoid facing a trial over allegations that an Indian drugmaker it acquired engaged in an anticompetitive scheme to delay the launch of generic drugs by rivals.

According to Reuters, District Judge Nathaniel Gorton in Boston on Monday ruled Sun failed to compellingly rebut claims by generic drug buyers that they were overcharged for medications as a result of a fraud Ranbaxy Laboratories perpetrated on US regulators.

The ruling clears the way for a Jan. 10 jury trial in class action lawsuits by direct purchasers of the drugs, including drug wholesalers, and indirect purchasers, such as health plans, accusing the company of racketeering and antitrust violations.

“We look forward to trying the classes’ racketeering and antitrust claims to a jury,” Kristen Johnson, a lawyer for the direct purchasers at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, said in a statement.

Neither Sun, which acquired Ranbaxy in 2014, nor its lead attorney, Jay Lefkowitz of Kirkland & Ellis, responded to requests for comment.

In lawsuits consolidated before Gorton in 2019, drug buyers accused Ranbaxy of wrongly obtaining tentative approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2007 and 2008 to produce generic versions of Novartis AG’s blood pressure drug Diovan, Pfizer Inc’s acid reflux medication Nexium and Genentech Inc’s antiviral drug Valcyte.

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