Life Sciences

Antitrust suit against GSK, Bioval to continue

Pharma Compliance Alert, March 25, 2009

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will have to defend itself against a lawsuit claiming the company prevented generic competition for its antidepressant Wellbutrin by filing sham patent lawsuits.

GSK and Biovail, a Canadian firm that partnered with GSK to promote an extended release version of Wellbutrin, asked to have the suit dismissed because the plaintiffs failed to show a conspiracy. The actions of the two companies could have been viewed as merely parallel conduct that could have occurred independently, they argued.

U.S. District Judge Mary A. McLaughlin issued a split ruling, dismissing one claim, but allowing the others to go forward. McLaughlin refused to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims of conspiracy to monopolize and concerted action in restraint of trade. She granted Biovail’s motion to dismiss the substantive monopolization claim, but denied GSK’s motion to dismiss the same claim.