United Healthcare Files Against Jazz, Merck, Glenmark and Par for Xyrem Pay-For-Delay

On March 18, 2020, United Healthcare filed a direct action end-payor complaint against Jazz, Hikma, Amneal, Par and Lupin alleging that they conspired to delay generic competition to Xyrem, a medication used to treat narcolepsy. Xyrem is also the subject of several pending direct and class actions, which have been consolidated in the Northern District of California before U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh. One such action was brought by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.  

Xyrem for Narcolepsy 

In July 2002, the FDA approved Xyrem for the treatment of narcolepsy. Jazz acquired the right to Xyrem in June 2005. At the time of approval, Xyrem received exclusivity from FDA expiring on July 17, 2009. Jazz then engaged in a multi-layered scheme to impair or delay entry of generic Xyrem. This included acquiring bogus patents and enforcing them with sham lawsuits, filing baseless citizen petitions with the FDA, abusing the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) system to frustrate efforts by generic manufacturers to come to market, and entering into a series of unlawful market allocation agreements with generic competitors, including Hikma, Roxane, Amneal, Par, and Lupin.  

United filed its complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota but, on March 26, 2021, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred the case to Judge Koh in the Northern District of California for pretrial proceedings with the lawsuits already consolidated there. Judge Koh held a Case Management Conference on March 24, 2021, continuing the Case Management Conference until May 26, 2021, resolving certain procedural motions, and setting an aggressive pre-trial schedule with discovery to be completed by March 25, 2022 and a jury trial set for February 13, 2023. The hearing on the Motion to Dismiss the upcoming consolidated complaint is set for June 24, 2021.  

Antitrust Class Action Attorneys 

When pharmaceutical companies conspire to fix drug prices, participate in “pay-for-delay” schemes, or otherwise engage in anticompetitive behavior, Schneider Wallace represents the interest of health insurers in multi-district litigation.  While class actions can be an effective way for individuals with relatively small personal damages to recover their losses, insurance companies bear a large proportion of that burden in the first instance.  As a result, insurance companies often suffer substantial damages as a result of anticompetitive conduct in the healthcare industry. Our team of experienced antitrust litigators have the knowledge and experience that it takes to successfully prosecute these complex matters. 

Contact Us Regarding Our Healthcare Recovery Practice

Contact Schneider Wallace at our Houston, San Francisco, Charlotte or San Juan office to discuss healthcare recovery opportunities. Our law firm represents national insurance companies in cases involving fraud, antitrust violations and other cost recovery matters.