The State of Louisiana filed suit against a drug supplier over allegations the company intentionally looked to block less expensive generic versions of one of its drugs.

Buddy Caldwell
Buddy Caldwell

James “Buddy” Caldwell, attorney general for Louisiana, filed the lawsuit in Louisiana state court on May 22 against Pfizer Inc. for allegedly attempting to block a generic version of its drug Neurontin.

The lawsuit claims Pfizer filed bogus patent infringement lawsuits in order to keep the generic drugs off the market.

“The patents protecting (Pfizer's) Neurontin were weak, invalid and would not be infringed by generic versions of Neurontin,” the lawsuit said. “Instead of conceding the weak state of their patent protection, (Pfizer) filed sham patent litigation against prospective generic entrants designed to delay generic competition.”

The lawsuits filed by Pfizer delayed the approval of the generic drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Caldwell said in his lawsuit.

Caldwell claims Pfizer violated the state's antitrust and consumer protection laws, and maintained an illegal monopoly on the market for at least 30 months. That required the state to pay “unlawfully inflated prices” for Neurotin.

Caldwell is seeking restitution from Pfizer for the inflated pricing of its drug as well as damages and court costs.

19th Judicial District Court Parish of East Baton Rouge State of Louisiana case number 3:15-cv-00327.

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