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AstraZeneca, Ranbaxy Can’t Ax Claims In Nexium Antitrust MDL

Law360 reports on Hilliard & Shadowen's victory over defendants' statute of limitations motion for summary judgment in Nexium case:

A Massachusetts federal judge on Wednesday rejected AstraZeneca PLC and Ranbaxy Inc.'s bid to dismiss as time-barred certain claims in multidistrict litigation alleging the companies violated antitrust laws by agreeing to delay entry of a generic version of AstraZeneca’s heartburn drug Nexium. U.S. District Judge William G. Young denied AstraZeneca and generics manufacturer Ranbaxy's motion for partial summary judgment on claims relating to Ranbaxy's alleged exclusion from the market because of a settlement agreement between the two companies, saying the plaintiffs have presented evidence supporting their position that the statute of limitations on those claims did not start to run when the agreement was executed in April 2008.

Suits Target Endo, Actavis Over Lidoderm Pay-For-Delay

Law360 reports on recent Lidoderm patch case filed by Hilliard & Shadowen:

Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. andActavis Inc. have been hit with two putative class actions in the past week in Pennsylvania and California federal courts over their patent settlement that allegedly delayed generic competition for Endo's pain relief patch Lidoderm. Puerto Rican pharmaceutical wholesaler Drogueria Betances launched its antitrust class action Friday in Pennsylvania, and a union health and welfare fund filed a similar complaint Tuesday in California, both alleging that Endo, Actavis and their subsidiaries unlawfully restricted Lidoderm competition with their so-called pay-for-delay deal. That agreement harmed consumers and caused them to pay higher prices for the pain patches, the complaints claimed.

Nexium Buyers Win Class Cert In AstraZeneca Antitrust MDL

Law360 reports on Hilliard & Shadowen's victory in class certification battle in Nexium case:

Massachusetts federal judge certified a class of Nexium end-buyers on Thursday who accused AstraZeneca PLC and others of violating antitrust laws by delaying a generic version of AstraZeneca’s heartburn drug, ruling the class met adequacy and predominance requirements. In the multidistrict litigation, the judge certified a damages class consisting of an unidentified number of individual consumers, third-party payors, union plan sponsors and insurance companies that bought or provided reimbursements for Nexium in more than 20 states and the District of Columbia. The class period will last from Apr. 14, 2008, until the alleged anticompetitve effects of the companies' unlawful conduct end, the judge said. The Nexium buyers allege that AstraZeneca established market power and used that power to harm competition when it entered into agreements with generic-drug makers Ranbaxy Inc., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd.

Hershey Mars Nestle Price Fixing

Legal Affairs writer Peter Geier, Policy and Regulatory Report, reports on Steve D. Shadowen's oral argument in the chocolate in a price-fixing case:

Steve D. Shadowen of Hilliard & Shadowen, of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, representing the plaintiffs’ class of direct purchasers, disparaged the defendants’ purported “mere interdependence” as a “conscious commitment” to a common (and illegal) scheme that had been shown to work in Canada.  “This knowledge did not stay in Canada,” Shadowen said. “It shaped the thinking of US executives. At a minimum, they were aware of it; at a maximum, they were directing it.”

Pay-for-delay ruling will bring more antitrust litigation

(Reuters) – When the U.S. Supreme Court issues its ruling on payments by brand-name drug companies to generic rivals to keep cheaper products off the market, many experts expect a complex analysis to emerge.