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In re Niaspan Antitrust Litig.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

August 13, 2019, Decided; August 14, 2019, Filed

MDL NO. 2460; MASTER FILE NO. 13-MD-2460

Opinion

 [*673]  MEMORANDUM

I. INTRODUCTION

This multidistrict litigation concerns what has come to be known as a "pay-for-delay," or "reverse payment," settlement—a practice in which a brand-name drug manufacturer brings a patent-infringement action against a generic drug manufacturer and then compensates the generic drug manufacturer for its agreement to delay entering the market with a competing generic version of the brand-name drug. In this case, two putative classes—the Direct-Purchaser Plaintiffs ("DPPs") and the End-Payor Plaintiffs ("EPPs")—aver that the brand-name manufacturer of the drug Niaspan, Kos Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Kos"), entered into anticompetitive settlement agreements in March of 2005 with the generic manufacturer of that drug, Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Barr"), in order to terminate patent-infringement litigation brought by Kos against Barr in the  [*674]  District Court for the Southern District of New York. Kos was later acquired by defendant AbbVie Inc. ("AbbVie"), and Barr was later acquired by defendant Teva Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Teva").

Presently before the Court is Direct Purchaser Class Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification. For the reasons [**2]  that follow, DPPs' Motion is granted.

II. BACKGROUND

The background of this case is set forth in detail in the Court's Memorandum and Order of September 5, 2014. See In re Niaspan Antitrust Litig., 42 F. Supp. 3d 735 (E.D. Pa. 2014). This Memorandum recites only the facts and procedural history relevant to this Motion for Class Certification.

Defendant AbbVie, a drug manufacturer that was spun off from Abbott Laboratories ("Abbott") in January 2013, markets and sells Niaspan, a brand-name prescription drug, primarily used in the treatment of lipid disorders. In the early 1990s, Kos, acquired by AbbVie in December 2006, developed a therapeutically-effective time-release version of niacin, Niaspan, which does not cause the side effects previously associated with niacin. Kos obtained a series of U.S. patents on time-release niacin and marketed the drug using the trademark Niaspan. Niaspan has been marketed and sold by AbbVie (and AbbVie's predecessor corporations) since September of 1997.

In October 2001, Barr, acquired by Teva in January 2009, filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application ("ANDA") with the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") seeking authorization to manufacture and sell a generic equivalent of certain dosages of Niaspan. The ANDA process [**3]  provides for streamlined FDA approval of a bioequivalent generic version of an FDA-approved brand-name drug. As part of the ANDA process, Barr filed certifications with the FDA stating that its generic drug did not infringe any of the patents covering Niaspan and/or that the patents were invalid or unenforceable.

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397 F. Supp. 3d 668 *; 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137077 **; 2019-2 Trade Cas. (CCH) P80,881; 2019 WL 3816829

IN RE: NIASPAN ANTITRUST LITIGATION. THIS DOCUMENT RELATES TO: ALL ACTIONS

Prior History: In re Niaspan Antitrust Litig., 42 F. Supp. 3d 735, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124818 (E.D. Pa., Sept. 5, 2014)

CORE TERMS

generic, class member, damages, antitrust, brand, overcharge, prices, joinder, purchasers, class certification, defendants', predominance, classwide, calculations, numerosity, brand-generic, manufacturer, brand-brand, impracticable, litigate, Reply, class action, Plaintiffs', entities, niacin, challenges, appointed, discounts, parties, courts