AbbVie and Allergan Pay-for-Delay for Bystolic

On November 20, 2020, retailers Walgreen Co., the Kroger Co., Albertsons Cos. and H-E-B LP filed an antitrust action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York concerning Bystolic, a beta blocker drug used to treat high blood pressure that has $638 million in annual U.S. Sales. Bystolic was developed by Forest Laboratories, and subsequently manufactured by AbbVie Inc. and Allergan Inc.

Class Action Against AbbVie

A class action was filed in July 2020 by Law Enforcement Health Benefits Inc. on behalf of itself and similarly situated parties. The July complaint alleges Sherman Act antitrust violations regarding the delay of generic medication. The complaint defines two classes:

Damages Class: Persons or entities during the class period who paid for Bystolic in these states:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wisconsin.

Injunctive Relief Class: All US persons or entities that bought, paid for, or provided reimbursement for some or all of the purchase price of Bystolic, at any time between June 2, 2015 until the end of anticompetitive actions.

Walgreens and Grocers File Antitrust Action

The new action by the retailers joins the July 2020 class action by direct and indirect purchasers. The Bystolic litigation alleges that the brand manufacturer entered into a series of “pay to delay” settlements with generic competitors Hetero, Torrent, Alkem, Indchemie, Glenmark, Amerigen, and Watson from October 2012 through November 2013 to delay entry of generic Bystolic. These settlements constituted an agreement to delay generic entry in exchange for “side-deals,” and cash payments that may exceed $15,000,000 in value.

The class period is June 2015 to the present. A generic is expected to be available in September 2021. The Bystolic litigation is pending before Judge Lewis J. Liman and is in early stages. No motions to dismiss have been filed, but the Defendants have sought to transfer the earlier-filed Bystolic cases to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, where some of the patent litigation that resulted in the “pay to delay” settlements occurred.

Walgreen Co., et al. v. AbbVie Inc., et al., No. 1:20-cv-09793 (S.D.N.Y.).  

Antitrust Class Action Lawyers

Established in 1993, Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP is a leading class action litigation law firm that handles complex antitrust cases nationwide. Our attorneys represent companies that have lost profits and opportunities to competitors through anticompetitive behavior as well as consumers who paid higher prices or suffered other harm as a result of unfair corporate practices.