Laurence Baker testified during a rare antitrust trial centering on the allegation that a brand manufacturer conspired with three generics to allocate the market for gout medication colchicine.
The plaintiffs, a group of drug wholesalers, alleged that a series of patent litigation settlements reached in 2015 between Takeda, manufacturer of the branded drug Colcrys, and three generic manufacturers (Par, Amneal, and Watson), comprised an overarching conspiracy to delay the entry of generic colchicine, resulting in inflated prices for plaintiffs.
During the jury trial, Professor Baker testified that the opposing expert’s proposed economic test for conspiracy was inadequate.
Counsel for Takeda retained Cornerstone Research to support Laurence Baker of Stanford University to respond to the opinions of plaintiffs’ economic expert, to evaluate whether there was economic evidence of a conspiracy, and to evaluate whether the settlements reached between Takeda and the generic manufacturers had procompetitive benefits.
During the jury trial, Professor Baker testified that the opposing expert’s proposed economic test for conspiracy was inadequate. He noted that the test failed to provide any economic evidence that would distinguish the observed conduct from conduct consistent with the companies acting in their own unilateral self interest. In addition, Professor Baker concluded that the economic evidence contradicted a theory of conspiracy between Takeda and the generic manufacturers and was consistent with the contested settlements being the outcome of separate bilateral negotiations. Finally, Professor Baker concluded that under important considerations about the strength of the patents at issue in the patent litigation, the settlements conferred substantial procompetitive benefits.
Plaintiffs and Takeda reached a settlement agreement on the tenth day of trial.