Indirect purchasers, end payors denied class certification in Skelaxin

February 5, 2014

Practitioner Insights thumbnail 2(Editor’s Note: This post is an excerpt from an article appearing in Practitioner Insights on WestlawNext)

The indirect-purchaser and the end-payor plaintiffs in the Skelaxin multidistrict antitrust litigation have lost their bid for class certification.

In re Skelaxin (Metaxalone) Antitrust Litigation, No. 12-md-2343, motion for class certification denied (E.D. Tenn. Jan. 30, 2014).

The IPPs “failed to make an adequate” showing as to which antitrust and unfair competition laws governed their claims, and the EPPs did not demonstrate their proposed class is ascertainable, U.S. District Judge Curtis L. Collier of the Eastern District of Tennessee said.

Defendant King Pharmaceuticals LLC, a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc. since 2010, manufactures and sells the prescription muscle relaxant metaxalone under the brand name Skelaxin.

Defendant Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. develops, manufactures and sells prescription drugs, according to the court’s May 2013 decision denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss.

In January 2004 Mutual notified King that it had sought approval from the Food and Drug Administration to manufacture a generic version of Skelaxin, the opinion says. In response, King filed suit against Mutual for patent infringement.

In January 2012 the first of many lawsuits were filed asserting antitrust challenges to King and Mutual’s resolution of their patent dispute.

According to the suits, Mutual agreed in December 2005 to redirect its efforts from bringing a generic metaxalone product to market to aiding King in blocking other potential generic manufacturers of the drug from gaining FDA approval and launching competitive products.

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