Judge Denies J&J Motion to Dismiss Pfizer Lawsuit Over Remicade

Regulatory NewsRegulatory News
| 10 August 2018 | By Zachary Brennan 

US District Court Judge Curtis Joyner on Friday denied Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) attempt to scuttle a lawsuit brought by Pfizer over its failure to gain market penetration for its Remicade (infliximab) biosimilar Inflectra (infliximab-dyyb).
Pfizer alleges that J&J’s anticompetitive practices targeted both insurers and providers and involved exclusive contracts for Remicade, as well as myriad rebate games that prevented Pfizer and others from competing with Remicade.
“In essence, if an insurer refuses to grant exclusivity to Remicade, the insurer would be forced to pay a higher price on other J&J products in addition to Remicade. Pfizer identifies Simponi, Simponi Aria, and Stelara as other J&J products included in its multiproduct bundled rebate program,” Friday’s denial explains.
J&J, meanwhile, argues that Inflectra’s lack of competition is the result of providers’ lack of comfort and awareness of biosimilars, the fact that Inflectra is not interchangeable with Remicade and Remicade’s substantial rebates.
Pfizer also claims that since the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Inflectra, J&J has increased the price of Remicade by nearly 10%.
J&J, however, argues that Pfizer’s uses of wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) and average sales price (ASP) are not accurate because they do not reflect the net price after discounts and rebates and because Inflectra had been on the market for less than a year at the time Pfizer filed its complaint so Remicade’s ASP reflects pricing data from months where Inflectra was not yet on the market.
But the judge said that at this stage, “we find that Pfizer’s allegations containing ASP data do support the plausibility of its claims.
“While J&J may ultimately be correct that Inflectra’s lack of success is the result of something other than J&J’s conduct, its argument is misplaced at this stage in the litigation,” the denial explains.
Pfizer told Focus in a statement: “Pfizer is pleased that the court denied Johnson & Johnson’s motion, and this case can now move forward. The court ruled that Pfizer’s complaint sufficiently alleged that J&J’s scheme of exclusionary contracts has unlawfully denied patients access to important treatment options.” 


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