Novartis reached settlements with plaintiffs in this reverse payment matter.
Retained by Williams & Connolly and by Cravath, Swaine & Moore
Plaintiffs alleged that pharmaceutical companies Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Novartis) and Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. (Par) reached an anticompetitive patent settlement that delayed the entry of generic versions of Novartis’s blood pressure drug, Exforge. Plaintiffs in this matter comprised a proposed class of direct purchasers, a proposed class of end payors, and a group of retailers.
Novartis and Par retained James Hughes, Professor Emeritus at Bates College, and Laurence Baker, Professor at Stanford University, to assess plaintiffs’ claims and respond to opinions put forth by plaintiffs’ experts. Professor Hughes rebutted plaintiffs’ experts’ opinions related to the certification of the proposed class of end payor plaintiffs. Professor Baker rebutted plaintiffs’ experts’ opinions related to the certification of the proposed class of direct purchaser plaintiffs, as well as opinions related to liability and damages for all three types of plaintiffs.
With respect to liability, Professor Baker addressed allegations that a certain clause in the patent settlement constituted a promise by Novartis to not launch an authorized generic version of Exforge that would compete with Par’s generic version during the first 180 days after Par’s entry. Specifically, Professor Baker opined that:
- The settlement did not include a large and unexplained payment, and that the alternative settlement models offered by plaintiffs’ experts were flawed and did not demonstrate that the actual settlement delayed generic entry.
- Plaintiffs’ experts’ proposed relevant market was too narrow, and a proper analysis of the market indicated that Novartis had no market power of antitrust concern.
- All of the damages estimates put forth by plaintiffs’ experts were flawed, and in particular, damages for the proposed end payor class were reduced to zero once all the flaws were corrected.
Novartis reached settlements with all three plaintiff groups in 2023 after expert reports and depositions were completed.