Pfizer Inc and India’s Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd on Friday won dismissal of an antitrust lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to delay sales of generic versions of the cholesterol drug Lipitor, the best-selling drug in history.
U.S. District Judge Peter Sheridan in Trenton, New Jersey ruled that the plaintiffs, retailers and distribution companies that bought Lipitor directly from Pfizer, failed to plead their case with enough detail.
The lawsuit was filed in 2012 by retailers and distributors that bought Lipitor directly from Pfizer.
The lawsuit stems from a 2008 settlement of a patent lawsuit filed by Pfizer against Ranbaxy over Ranbaxy’s plan to make generic Lipitor. Under the deal, Pfizer agreed to drop a claim for damages against Ranbaxy, and Ranbaxy agreed to stay out of the Lipitor market until November 2011.
Retailers and distribution companies claim that the settlement amounted to Pfizer paying Ranbaxy to stay out of the Lipitor market, violating antitrust laws. But Sheridan ruled Friday that their case failed because they did not offer any allegation of the settlement’s dollar value.
Sheridan dismissed another version of the lawsuit last September.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs and a Pfizer spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.