Rite Aid files antitrust claim against maker of acne drug

By Nicholas Malfitano | Apr 16, 2015

SCRANTON – Rite Aid Corp. is claiming Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., the manufacturer of acne treatment drug Solodyn, filed improper petitions and arranged unlawful agreements with their competitors to keep generic versions of Solodyn from reaching the market.

Rite Aid made the claims in an antitrust lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on April 6.

“Medicis orchestrated a scheme to delay and suppress generic competition with respect to Solodyn and to maintain and extend its monopoly in the market for minocycline hydrochloride extended release tablets, to the detriment of Plaintiffs and other purchasers of the drug,” the suit reads.

Rite Aid alleges Medicis used sham patent litigation and reverse-payment deals with competitors such as Impax, Teva, Mylan and Sandoz to prevent generic drug competition for Solodyn, which the suit claims would have begun several years ago if not for Medicis’s “anticompetitive and unlawful tactics.”

Such generic competition in the marketplace, Rite Aid claims, would have resulted in substantial cost savings for consumers of the drug Solodyn. According to Rite Aid’s suit, Solodyn accounts for 50 percent of Medicis’ annual sales revenue.

Rite Aid, a Delaware corporation based in Camp Hill, initiated the action on behalf of itself and as the assignee of McKesson Corp., a wholesaler that purchased Solodyn directly from Medicis for later resale to Rite Aid.

Medicis is also a Delaware corporation, headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that Medicis’ actions were in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, a permanent injunction banning them from continuing their alleged illegal actions, overcharges, court costs and any other relief the court deems “just and proper.”

In its suit, Rite Aid said the injuries it suffered at the hands of Medicis were precisely those which the Sherman Antitrust Act sought to prevent.

Rite Aid is represented by Monica L. Rebuck and Barry L. Refsin of Hangley, Aronchick, Segal, Pudlin & Schiller.

United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania case 1:15-cv-00673

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