Today, Pfizer filed an antitrust lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania alleging that J&J has engaged in an anticompetitive scheme to protect its Remicade® (infliximab) product.
The complaint alleges that “[w]hen Pfizer introduced its competing biologic Inflectra (infliximab-dyyb) in 2016, J&J deployed improper exclusionary tactics to maintain the dominance of its flagship product [Remicade].” According to the complaint: “Within weeks of Inflectra’s launch, J&J began to deploy what it publicly has termed its ‘Biosimilar Readiness Plan.’ The core features of the plan are exclusionary contracts that foreclose Pfizer’s access to an overwhelming share of consumers, coupled with anticompetitive bundling and coercive rebate policies designed to block both insurers from reimbursing, and hospitals and clinics from purchasing, Inflectra or other biosimilars of Remicade despite their lower pricing.” “[A]s a result of J&J’s competition-reducing actions,” Pfizer alleges, “[m]ajor stakeholders at every level of the healthcare marketplace are suffering,” including consumers, government programs such as Medicare, and Pfizer. The complaint claims that these alleged actions of J&J amount to violations of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 1 and 2) and Section 3 of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. § 14). As a remedy, Pfizer seeks “money damages, trebled pursuant to law, in an amount in excess of $150,000.00 (exclusive of interest and costs),” litigation costs and attorneys’ fees, and other declaratory and injunctive relief.
Pfizer issued a press release about the lawsuit, which is available here.
Stay tuned to Big Molecule Watch for further developments.