Warner Chilcott Loestrin Pay-For-Delay Settlement
On September 1, 2020, the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island approved a trio of settlements totaling $183.5 million between direct purchasers, insurers, and end-payors of Loestrin 24 and Minastrin 24 and Lupin, Warner Chilcott and Watson. Loestrin 24 and Minastrin 24 are oral contraceptive medications, Loestrin 24 had sales of $389 million in 2012 and Minastrin 24 had sales of $361 million in 2016.
The plaintiffs allege Warner Chilcott engaged in a reverse-payment scheme with generic manufacturers, Watson and Lupin, to delay generic entry of Loestrin 24 until 2014, thereby enabling Warner Chilcott to sell Loestrin 24 at artificially inflated, supracompetitive prices. Plaintiffs further allege that Warner Chilcott then used that delay to switch as many Loestrin 24 prescriptions as possible to Minastrin 24, the chewable version of the same drug Loestrin 24 before the entry of an authorized generic. The class period is September 2009 through May 2, 2019 for direct purchasers and September 2009 through September 17, 2019 for third-party payors.
Warner Chilcott Delays Generic Entry with Lo Loestrin and Minastrin
Loestrin 24 would have been available in September 2009, when Watson was first granted generic Loestrin 24 approval. Plaintiffs had alleged the pay-for-delay helped Warner Chilcott move prescription in the United States to equivalent or below equivalent but still patent protected medication, and ordered sales staff to stop prescription for the now patent expiring Loestrin 24.
Lo Loestrin 24, despite the higher price, lead to more pregnancies than Loestrin 24. Loestrin 24 was initially replaced by Lo Loestrin 24, which after being discontinued in 2013 was replaced with Minastrin 24.
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In re: Loestrin 24 FE Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:13-md-2472 (D.R.I.).