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Flonase Antitrust Litigation

Court: United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Case No.:
2:08-CV-3301
Leadership Position: Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee

Wexler Wallace serves on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in this case, filed on behalf of purchasers of the drug Flonase (fluticasone propionate). Plaintiffs allege that GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”) filed a series of citizen petitions with the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) in an improper effort to keep generic versions of Flonase off the market and preserve GSK’s monopoly.  Plaintiffs allege that, as a result of its conduct, GSK was able to realize higher profits at the expense of consumers and third party payors.

Citizen petitions are letters that can be submitted to the FDA to address issues of the safety and efficacy of a drug under review.  Until the statute authorizing citizen petitions was amended, due to abuses by pharmaceutical companies seeking to preserve their monopolies, the filing of a citizen petition stayed the FDA’s decision on a generic company’s application to sell and market a generic drug.

Wexler Wallace serves on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in this antitrust class action, alleging that GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”) filed citizen petitions with the Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) to keep generic versions of Flonase (fluticasone propionate) off the market.  Citizen petitions are letters that can be submitted to the FDA to address issues of the safety and efficacy of a drug under review.  Until the statute authorizing citizen petitions was amended due to its abuse by pharmaceutical companies seeking to preserve their monopolies, the filing of a citizen petition stayed the FDA’s decision of a generic company’s ANDA – or application to sell and market a generic drug.  Plaintiffs allege that GSK abused the citizen petition process in order to preserve its monopoly profits for Flonase.

Settlement

On June 19, 2012, the Honorable Anita B. Brody certified a limited class of indirect purchasers. The class consists of indirect purchasers who bought Flonase between August 2004 and March 2009 in the following states: Arizona, Massachusetts, Florida and Wisconsin.  The case settled for $35 million.