Judge Denies Johnson & Johnson's Motion to Dismiss Pfizer's Antitrust Lawsuit

The district court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has denied Johnson & Johnson’s motion to dismiss an antitrust civil action brought by Pfizer over infliximab.
Kelly Davio
August 10, 2018
The district court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has denied Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) motion to dismiss an antitrust civil action brought by Pfizer over infliximab. The suit, filed in September 2017, alleges that Johnson & Johnson engaged in exclusionary contracts, bundled rebates, and multi-product bundling practices related to its originator infliximab (Remicade) that have effectively denied patients access to biosimilar therapies (including Pfizer’s Inflectra) and have undermined price competition in the biologics marketplace.

Read more about Pfizer’s suit against J&J.

In a copy of the court’s August 8, 2018, memorandum obtained by The Center for Biosimilars®, Judge J. Joyner writes that “Pfizer’s Complaint sufficiently alleges that it has suffered an antitrust injury as the result of J&J’s anticompetitive conduct. J&J’s efforts to foreclose Pfizer from the market, as Pfizer has alleged, have led to increased prices for consumers and limited competitive options for end payors, providers, and patients.”

The memorandum goes on to state that, while J&J’s claim that Pfizer’s Inflectra has not adequately competed with Remicade (due to factors including its lack of interchangeability) may ultimately prove true after the discovery process, the claim is not itself grounds for dismissing the complaint.

Finally, the court said Pfizer’s claims that it has priced Inflectra below Remicade, even accounting for incentives like bundled discounts and rebates, plausible, and “Discovery will reveal whether Pfizer has offered more competitive pricing for Inflectra, as alleged in its Complaint.”

In a statement to The Center for Biosimilars®, a representative of Pfizer said that the Inflectra maker "...is pleased that the court denied [J&J] motion, and this case can now move forward. The court ruled that Pfizer’s complaint sufficiently alleged that J&J’s scheme of exclusionary contracts has unlawfully denied patients access to important treatment options.” 



 

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