Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd on Friday won dismissal of a US antitrust lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to delay sales of generic versions of the best-selling cholesterol drug Lipitor.
US 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, filed in 2012, 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.
A Pfizer spokesman said the company was pleased with the ruling.
"Pfizer has always believed that the procurement and enforcement of its Lipitor patents and the settlement of litigation relating thereto was at all times proper and lawful," the spokesman said in an email. "The company will continue to vigorously protect and defend its intellectual property, which is vital to developing new medicines like Lipitor that save and enhance patient lives."
Lawyers for the plaintiffs could not immediately be reached for comment.