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Court Revives Diabetes Drug Antitrust Case

(CN) - The 2nd Circuit has reinstated an antitrust class action accusing drug makers Ferring and Aventis of hiking prices on the diabetes drug desmopressin acetate, known as DDAVP.

The Manhattan court found that buyers of the drug - Meijer Inc., Rochester Drug Co-op, and Louisiana Wholesale Drug - had a case against the drug companies, even though they were not direct competitors.

The buyers claimed that Ferring filed a false citizen petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to delay the approval of generic DDAVP tablets. This allegedly gave Ferring and Aventis pricing control over the tablets, which they used to inflate the price of the drugs.

Though the plaintiffs are not generic drug makers or direct competitors, they were affected by the actions of Ferring and Aventis by being forced to pay higher prices, the 2nd Circuit ruled. This gives them standing to sue under antitrust laws, Judge John Walker Jr. determined, reversing a lower court's dismissal of the complaint for lack of standing.

The drug makers knew that their patent was unenforceable months before the FDA rejected their citizen petition, but they did not withdraw it, Walker added.

He said the plaintiffs can sue over the sham litigation's impact on drug prices.

The 2nd Circuit vacated dismissal and remanded the case.

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