Labaton Sucharow Alleges Jubilant DraxImage Unlawfully Raised Prices for Critical Radiopharmaceuticals

by Labaton Sucharow

August 13, 2019

Labaton Sucharow’s Antitrust and Competition Litigation Practice has filed an antitrust class action lawsuit on behalf of nuclear pharmacy Ionsouth-Mobile, LLC (“Ionsouth”) against Jubilant DraxImage (“JDI”) alleging it entered unlawful agreements and monopolized markets in violation of federal antitrust laws. JDI is one of the largest radiopharmaceutical manufacturers in the United States. Radiopharmaceuticals are a class of low-level radioactive medicines used for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Joining Ionsouth as a co-plaintiff is UPPI LLC, the largest association of independent and institutional nuclear pharmacies in the United States.

On behalf of plaintiffs, Labaton Sucharow conducted an extensive investigation into JDI’s alleged unlawful conduct to monopolize the markets for five radiopharmaceutical products, known as MAA, DTPA, MDP, Sestamibi, and Sodium Iodine I-131. JDI’s anticompetitive conduct involved abusing its position as sole supplier in the United States of two critical radiopharmaceutical “cold kits” – MAA and DTPA. In 2013, JDI acquired two approved new drug applications (“NDAs”) for competing radiopharmaceuticals for MAA and DTPA. After acquiring these NDAs, JDI “warehoused” them – refusing to either offer new products that would compete with MAA and DTPA or to license or sell the NDAs to a competitor that could do so. With these NDAs under its control, JDI increased the prices of these products to supra-competitive levels, including a 1,718 percent increase in the price of MAA and a 527 percent increase in the price of DTPA.

Beginning in 2017, JDI initiated additional anticompetitive practices, including tying obligations whereby a nuclear pharmacy’s purchase of certain JDI radiopharmaceutical products is conditioned on the pharmacy also purchasing minimum amounts of other JDI radiopharmaceuticals. According to the complaint, JDI has forced its unwilling customers to enter into agreements that impose onerous and wholly unreasonable restraints on its customers. The complaint alleges that there is a dangerous probability of JDI succeeding in monopolizing markets for MDP cold kits, Sestamibi cold kits, and Sodium Iodine I-131. As a result, Ionsouth and other nuclear pharmacies have paid supra-competitive prices for these products.

“Vigorous, fair competition is the hallmark of our marketplace,” said Greg Asciolla, Co-Chair of Labaton Sucharow’s Antitrust Practice. “Left unrestrained by anticompetitive conduct, it ensures that consumers have the lowest prices and highest quality. Here, nuclear pharmacies across the country were injured by JDI’s extensive efforts to thwart competition, forcing them to pay higher prices for critical products and limiting their ability to seek lower-priced, higher quality alternatives.”

The Labaton Sucharow team includes Partners Gregory Asciolla, Jay Himes, and Christopher McDonald, Of Counsel Robin van der Meulen and Associate Jonathan Crevier. The case is Ionsouth-Mobile LLC, et al. v. Jubilant DraxImage Inc., No. 19-cv-518 (S.D. Ala.).


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