J&J and Pfizer Settle Remicade Biosimilar Antitrust Suit

On July 20, 2021, after nearly four years of litigation, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Pfizer have agreed to dismiss all claims asserted in the antitrust suit brought by Pfizer in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania regarding Remicade (infliximab).  Remicade is an immunosuppressant that is used to treat Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and a variety of other inflammatory diseases.  In its September 20, 2017 complaint, Pfizer alleged that J&J violated the Sherman Act and Clayton Act by entering into de facto exclusivity agreements with insurers and providers of Remicade that excluded competitors.  These agreements allegedly conditioned the availability of discounts, rebates, and other price concessions for Remicade on promises to eliminate or drastically reduce dealings with infliximab biosimilars, including Pfizer’s infliximab biosimilar, Inflectra.  The parties were in the midst of fact discovery when they entered into a confidential settlement agreementAccording to J&J, “The U.S. competition-based model is working. Prices for Remicade and other infliximabs have subsequently declined since biosimilars have been introduced, and we expect these competitive dynamics to continue.”  And according to Pfizer, “Pfizer has begun to see progress in the overall biosimilars marketplace in the U.S.,” but “changes in policy at a government level and acceptance of biosimilars among key stakeholders are critical to deliver more meaningful uptake so patients and the healthcare system at large can benefit from the cost savings these medicines may deliver.”