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From Antitrust Law Daily, December 12, 2014

New York blocks Actavis from switching Alzheimer treatment medication

By Linda O’Brien, J.D., LL.M.

In its antitrust lawsuit seeking to prevent pharmaceutical manufacturer Actavis and its New-York based subsidiary Forest Laboratories from forcing Alzheimer’s patients to switch medications to a newer version of the drug Namenda, the New York Attorney General obtained a preliminary injunction, blocking Actavis from discontinuing sales of the older Namenda while the case is pending.

The decision was issued yesterday in the federal district court in Manhattan, but was sealed as it contained confidential information.

Actavis has announced a plan to withdraw its Alzheimer’s drug Namenda from the market. According to the Attorney General’s complaint filed on September 15, Namenda is protected by a patent that will expire in July 2015 and the company will thus face competition from generic drug makers. To block competition from generics, Actavis and Forest intend to pull Namenda off the market early, forcing patients to switch to another of their drugs, Namenda XR, on which they hold a longer patent.

"Today’s decision prevents Actavis from pursuing its scheme to block competition and maintain its high drug prices,” Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said. “Our lawsuit against Actavis sends a clear message: drug companies cannot illegally prioritize profits over patients. We will continue to protect New Yorkers from anticompetitive practices by drug manufacturers.”

Companies: Actavis plc; Forest Laboratories

MainStory: TopStory Antitrust NewYorkNews

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