On May 14, 2021, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton, sitting in Massachusetts, certified a class of End-Payor Plaintiffs (EPPs) consisting of Third-Party Payors (TPPs) in antitrust and RICO litigation involving applications to produce generic versions of three drugs. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants Ranbaxy and Sun Pharmaceutical conspired to acquire and misuse the exclusivity periods afforded to generic drug manufacturers under the Hatch-Waxman Act, thereby blocking other potential generic manufacturers and delaying for many years the entry onto the market of generic equivalents of Diovan, Nexium, and Valcyte. Their motion for class certification incorporated two reports and testimony from OnPoint pharma expert Laura Craft.
In certifying the EPP class, Judge Gorton relied on Ms. Craft’s explanation of the detailed pharmaceutical transaction data that is available and could be used to identify relevant drug purchases and the eligible TPPs for those purchases. Based on her pharma industry expert testimony, Judge Gorton ruled that the proposed EPP class was ascertainable, and otherwise met the legal requirements for certification of a pharmaceutical class action. He found that Craft “has established that the requisite data exists and has proffered a detailed approach for using it to identify class members.” And the judge cited with approval Ms. Craft’s explanation of the “economic incentives” in the pharmaceutical industry for Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and pharmacies to retain prescription drug transaction data, rejecting the Defendants’ suggestion that the necessary data might no longer be available. This is one of a series of decisions in pharmaceutical antitrust cases that secure to insurers and other end-payors the ability to challenge anti-competitive conduct that drives up drug prices.
To learn more about Laura Craft, click here.
To learn more about this decision, click here.
The EPP class is represented by co-lead counsel Lowey Dannenberg, P.C., and The Dugan Law Firm, APLC.