Labaton Sucharow Appointed Lead Counsel in Exforge Pay-for-Delay Suit

NEW YORK, August 7, 2018 – Labaton Sucharow was appointed lead counsel in a class action brought on behalf of end-payor purchasers against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Par Pharmaceutical, Inc., and Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

The class action, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that Novartis and Par entered into an unlawful pay-for-delay agreement that restrained competition for Novartis’ high blood pressure drug Exforge. Under the terms of the agreement, Par agreed to delay entry into the market for Exforge until September 30, 2014, despite having approval to launch a generic drug as early as September 21, 2012. In exchange, Novartis agreed not to compete in the generic Exforge market from September 30, 2014 to March 30, 2015 by not launching an authorized generic. The result of this agreement was to drive the price of Exforge, and later its generic equivalent, to an artificially high, anticompetitive level.

After an extensive investigation into the alleged unlawful conduct, including an in-depth analysis of the relevant patent prosecution histories, Labaton Sucharow filed its complaint on June 19, 2018. The appointment bolsters the Firm’s experience litigating anticompetitive conduct in the pharmaceutical industry, which includes serving as co-lead counsel in In re Opana ER Antitrust Litigation and serving on the plaintiffs’ steering committee in In re Generic Pharmaceuticals Pricing Antitrust Litigation.

The Labaton Sucharow team will be led by Greg Asciolla, co-chair of the Firm’s Antitrust and Competition Litigation Practice, and Robin van der Meulen, of counsel to the Firm. Labaton Sucharow’s client UFCW Local 1500 Welfare Fund is a class representative.