In re Lamictal Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litig.

#ClassAction #ClassCertification

4/22/2020- This case was the latest in the years-long antitrust battle over whether GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”) and Teva Pharmaceuticals (“Teva”) violated the antitrust laws through their settlement agreement to end an unrelated patent dispute over GSK’s brand drug Lamictal and Teva’s generic form lamotrigine. After GSK and Teva settled patent litigation, plaintiffs—companies that directly purchased a drug, Lamictal, from GSK or its generic, lamotrigine, from Teva (“Direct Purchasers”)—filed suit, claiming the settlement violated the antitrust laws as an impermissible “reverse payment agreement” whereby GSK “paid” Teva to stay out of the market by promising not to launch an authorized generic (“AG”). 

The Direct Purchasers moved to certify a class of all companies that purchased Lamictal directly from GSK or generic lamotrigine from Teva. That noted, GSK and Teva challenge only certification as to the members who purchased generic lamotrigine from Teva (hence any reference to the Direct Purchasers that follows is limited to those Direct Purchasers). The District Court certified the class. The Circuit Court vacated and remanded, finding the Circuit Court’s analysis was deficient.