Loestrin antitrust litigation settlement reached

Motley Rice, as co-lead and trial counsel for end-payor plaintiffs, including the City of Providence, helped reach a $62.5 million class action settlement on the eve of trial to resolve claims alleging pharmaceutical drug manufacturers engaged in anticompetitive conduct to delay market entry of generic Loestrin 24 FE. The class, which was certified in October 2019, includes third-party payor entities, such as union and employee health and welfare benefit plans, cities and counties with self-funded prescription benefit plans, and insurers.

The antitrust litigation, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island, alleged Warner Chilcott and Watson, now both subsidiaries of Allergan, entered into an anticompetitive agreement that was intended to delay market entry of generic Loestrin 24 FE birth control medication. The plaintiffs also alleged Warner Chilcott engaged in an unlawful “product hop” by switching the market from Loestrin 24 to a chewable version of the same drug, Minastrin 24, then ceasing production of the older version of the drug, to further impede generic competition.

Trial was scheduled to begin January 6, 2020, before a total $300 million settlement was reached with the companies, $62.5 million of which is reserved for the end-payor class. The case is Loestrin 24 FE Antitrust Litigation, case number 1:13-md-02472, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. Motley Rice lawyers Michael M. Buchman and Michelle C. Clerkin served as counsel. Hilliard & Shadowen LLP, Miller Law LLC, and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC also represented the end-payor class with Motley Rice.

Read more about the preliminary approval here.