Wellbutrin XL Antitrust Class Action Lawsuit
By Mike Holter
A federal judge has certified a class action lawsuit that accuses the producers and distributors of the antidepressant Wellbutrin XL of illegally conspiring to prevent generic versions of the drug from becoming available. As a result, the class action lawsuit claims, consumers were overcharged because they would have switched earlier to the cheaper generic drug if its entry to the market had not been delayed.
According to the Wellbutrin XL class action lawsuit, Biovail, GlaxoSmithKline illegally conspired to prevent generic versions of the once-a-day antidepressant from entering the American market by filing “sham” patent lawsuits. The Wellbutrin class action claims that as a result of these sham lawsuits, the 300 mg generic version entered the market in December 2006 instead of November 2005, and the 150 mg version was delayed until May 2008.
“[T]he defendants conducted a four-part scheme to delay the entry of generic equivalent of Wellbutrin XL into the market, primarily by misusing patent litigation. Specifically, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants (1) filed three sham patent litigations, (2) filed a sham listing with the FDA’s Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluation (the ‘Orange Book’), (3) filed a baseless FDA citizen petition and suit against the FDA, and (4) formed agreements with potential generic competitors. The plaintiffs contend that the effect of these activities was to delay the market entry of cheaper, generic alternatives to Wellbutrin XL,” the class action lawsuit states.
The newly certified Wellbutrin XL class action lawsuit represents all persons or entities who purchased generic Wellbutrin XL between November 14, 2005 and the present and all entities that purchased 150 mg or 300 mg Wellbutrin XL before the generic version was available for such dosages, and resided or had their place of business, or purchased the drug in California, Florida, Nevada, New York, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
The case is In Re: Wellbutrin XL Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 08-2433, United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Updated August 19th, 2011
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