Our firm recently received a favorable ruling in a very important antitrust case that we are handling in Florida. The case is Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Inc. v. Astellas US, LLC, a national class action filed on behalf of healthcare providers against Astellas, a global top-twenty pharmaceutical company. The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida denied Astellas’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit. As a result, all allegations against the company survive and we will move forward toward class certification. The Court has previously denied Astellas’ request to stay discovery, as well as Astellas’ request to limit discovery to only class certification issues.
Our lawsuit, filed under the Sherman Act, Clayton Act, and Florida state antitrust law, relates to the use of adenosine, a naturally occurring substance, to study blood flow in cardiac patients. The suit alleges illegal tying of Astellas’ unpatented adenosine drug, Adenoscan®, with its patented method of administering adenosine to cardiac patients. In other words, Astellas prohibits hospitals and clinics from using its patented method of adenosine administration, which represents the medical standard of care, unless the hospital or clinic also purchases Adenoscan® at an inflated price.
Other identical non-branded adenosine formulations are available at one-fourth the price of Adenoscan®, but Astellas will not allow hospitals and clinics to purchase them. This conduct costs Lakeland Regional approximately $500,000 annually. Furthermore, Astellas has threatened patent infringement litigation against Lakeland Regional and other hospitals and clinics that have sought to purchase less expensive, non-branded adenosine. This case is a good example of how pharmaceutical companies are driving up the cost of healthcare in this country.
Dee Miles and Archie Grubb, lawyers in the firm’s Consumer Fraud Section, are handling this case, which is in Florida’s Middle District, along with Stephen Senn, a lawyer with Peterson & Myers in Lakeland, Fla., and Jay Smith, a lawyer at Fish & Richardson in Atlanta, Ga. We are pleased to be working with these outstanding lawyers and their firms. Contact Archie Grubb at 800-898-2034 or by email at Archie.Grubb@beasleyallen.com if you have any questions about this case, or about our firm’s antitrust litigation practice.
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