Our firm continues to handle complex antitrust cases involving price fixing, tying arrangements, and other anti-competitive conduct, especially as it relates to the healthcare industry. For example, in Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Inc. v. Astellas US, LLC, et al., Case No. 8:10-cv-2008-T-33TGW (M.D. Fla.) we filed a national class action on behalf of healthcare providers under the Sherman Act, Clayton Act, and Florida state antitrust laws. It alleges illegal tying of Astellas’ unpatented drug, adenosine, with its patented method of administration of Adenoscan®.
Our client, a not-for-profit hospital, provides myocardial profusion imaging (MPI), a diagnostic technique used to study blood flow in the human heart. Adenosine is a naturally occurring compound that is often used as an adjunct to the MPI procedure. Astellas, one of the twenty largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, sells Adenoscan®, an adenosine based drug approved by the FDA for use in connection with MPI. Astellas’ patent on Adenoscan® has expired, and chemically identical adenosine substitutes are available on the generic market at one-fourth the cost of Adenoscan ®.
Unfortunately, our client and other similarly-situated healthcare providers are unable to purchase the less costly generic adenosine on the open market. This is because Astellas has threatened patent infringement litigation against our client and others who have sought to purchase identically formulated unbranded adenosine alternatives for use in MPI. Astellas seeks to require the hospitals to purchase its Adenoscan® product at a much higher cost when using Astellas’ patented method of administering the drug. This arrangement essentially allows Astellas to extend its patent monopoly over the drug years after the patent covering the drug has expired. We contend that this conduct by Astellas constitutes an impermissible tying arrangement under federal and state antitrust laws. Our suit seeks certification of a national class action against Astellas, with relief to include treble damages, attorney’s fees, and an injunction against further tying of the unpatented Adenoscan ® product with the patented method of administration.
This case is primarily being handled by Archie Grubb, (Archie.Grubb@BeasleyAllen.com), and Andrew Brashier, (Andrew.Brashier@BeasleyAllen.com), lawyers in the Section. They are also handling other complex anti-trust litigation for the firm.
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