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Pharmaceutical makers sue Mucinex manufacturer

By Carol Ostrow | Feb 5, 2015

Shutterstock 155812997

URL Pharma, Inc., Mutual Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. and United Research Laboratories, Inc. filed an antitrust suit against Reckitt Benckiser, Inc. on Feb. 3 alleging unfair trade practices in the sale and distribution of Mucinex.

The plaintiffs allege Reckitt wrongfully monopolized the market for Mucinex, which is an extended-release guaifenesin (ERG) sold over-the-counter that acts as an expectorant to help thin bronchial secretions. Reckitt allegedly deliberately blocked the formation of a competitive market for the manufacture and sale of a generic version of the drug.

Initially, Rickett held the only patent for ERG. When Mutual planned to produce and sell a generic version, Reckitt sued the company for patent infringement. The two sides reached a settlement in 2007 that prevented  Mutual from entering the ERG market until another generic version of the product was offered. In return,  Reckitt was required to provide the product to Mutual once another company entered the marketplace. 

The suit alleged that Reckitt has failed to provide ERG to Mutual since October 2013 when another company began selling a generic version of the drug.

The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction to prevent Reckitt’s alleged monopolistic practices, along with damages, expenses, attorneys’ fees and costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by John Grogan and Howard Langer, of Langer Grogan & Diver, PC, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania case No. 2:15-cv-00505-PBT

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