Legal and Regulatory Round-up: TriCor Suit Settles, Seroquel Suits Are Tossed, FDA Opens New Post
Abbott settles TriCor antitrust suit with states: Abbott and its French marketing partner Fournier agreed to pay 24 states and the District of Columbia $22.5 million to settle a suit claiming they blocked generic competition for the cholesterol drug TriCor (fenofibrate) by making minor changes in the formulations to prevent generic substitutions. The 2008 suit also alleged that the companies filed baseless patent infringement suits against Teva and Impax to trigger a 30-month automatic stay of approval (1"The Pink Sheet," March 24, 2008). The Florida Attorney General's Office led the litigation. Last month Abbott settled its patent infringement suit against Teva, allowing Teva to begin marketing its generic fenofibrate in March 2011 (2"The Pink Sheet," Dec. 7, 2009). Direct purchasers had filed a similar TriCor antitrust suit against Abbott, which the company settled in 2008 for $184 million
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Direct purchasers' $750m settlement with Allergan is at least the second involving product hopping claims; only one DOJ settlement surpassed this amount in the past year.
$25m settlement resolves allegations covering 2006-2008 period; Abbott inked $1.5bn settlement with government six years ago involving Depakote promotion. This is DOJ's fourth pharma deal of the year.
The deal Abbott struck with Teva to allow it to begin selling generic TriCor (fenofibrate) in March 2011 gives Abbott time to convert more patients to its second generation TriLipix (fenofibric acid)