Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. (RBXY) were sued by 11 California pharmacies alleging the companies agreed to delay release of a generic version of the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor in the U.S. and then fixed its price.
Pfizer obtained extra time to be the exclusive seller of Lipitor and garnered $18 billion as a result of an unlawful agreement with Ranbaxy, which in exchange was able to distribute the generic of Lipitor earlier in foreign markets, according to the complaint filed yesterday in federal court in San Francisco.
Lipitor’s current price exceeds $4 a day, while a generic will sell for as low as 10 cents, the drug stores said in the complaint. Lipitor’s purchasers in the U.S. are paying inflated prices for the drug as a result, the pharmacies said.
Lipitor, which generated $10.7 billion in revenue for New York-based Pfizer last year, loses U.S. patent protection on Nov. 30. A legal settlement with Pfizer gave New Delhi-based Ranbaxy six months’ exclusivity to market generic Lipitor, the world’s best-selling drug.
The lawsuit seeks disgorgement of profits from the allegedly illegal arrangement and triple damages.
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Pfizer, Ranbaxy Sued By 11 Pharmacies Over Alleged Price Fixing of Lipitor - Bloomberg