Pfizer, Ranbaxy win lawsuit over generic Lipitor

Pfizer was accused of paying Ranbaxy to stay out of Lipitor market

Pfizer, Ranbaxy win lawsuit over generic Lipitor

Pfizer Inc and India's Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd won dismissal of a U.S. antitrust lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to delay sales of generic versions of the best-selling cholesterol drug Lipitor.

US District Judge Peter Sheridan in Trenton, New Jersey, ruled that the plaintiffs, retailers and distribution companies that bought Lipitor directly from Pfizer, failed to plead their case with enough detail.

The lawsuit, filed in 2012, stems from a 2008 settlement of a patent lawsuit filed by Pfizer against Ranbaxy over Ranbaxy's plan to make generic Lipitor. Under the deal, Pfizer agreed to drop a claim for damages against Ranbaxy, and Ranbaxy agreed to stay out of the Lipitor market until November 2011.

Retailers and distribution companies claim that the settlement amounted to Pfizer paying Ranbaxy to stay out of the Lipitor market, violating antitrust laws.

But Sheridan ruled on Friday that their case failed because they did not offer any allegation of the settlement's dollar value. Sheridan dismissed another version of the lawsuit last September.

A Pfizer spokesman said the company was pleased with the ruling.
"Pfizer has always believed that the procurement and enforcement of its Lipitor patents and the settlement of litigation relating thereto was at all times proper and lawful," the spokesman said in an email.

Lupin, Salix join hands
Drug major Lupin and US-based Salix Pharmaceuticals have entered into a definitive distribution agreement under which Salix has granted Lupin the exclusive right to market, distribute and sell certain Salix products in Canada.

In a BSE filing, Lupin said, "They have entered into a definitive distribution agreement under which Salix has granted Lupin the exclusive right to market, distribute and sell certain Salix products in Canada."

Lupin will promote Salix products through its own sales force in Canada. "Lupin is in the process of establishing its Canadian presence and the addition of this significant product portfolio opens up growth opportunities for the future," the company said.
Under the agreement, Lupin also has the option to exclusively market, distribute and sell other gastroenterology products in Salix's Canadian pipeline once approved by Health Canada.

On the other hand, Salix will receive an upfront payment and distribution fees, and is eligible for additional pre-commercial and sales milestone payments, Lupin said.

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