Ranbaxy faces U.S. racketeering suit for blocking launch of Roche, Novartis generics

Sun Pharma Managing Director Dilip Shanghvi

Ranbaxy Laboratories and its new parent, Sun Pharmaceutical, have been named in a U.S. district court suit accusing Ranbaxy of racketeering by blocking generics of two drugs, one each by Roche ($RHHBY) and Novartis ($NVS).

A Midwest retailer, Meijer and Meijer Distribution, said in the suit filed in the Boston district court that Ranbaxy submitted false papers with the U.S. FDA to gain 180-day exclusivity it never intended to use. The two were for Roche's Valcyte (valganciclovir) transplant antiviral and Diovan (valsartan) by Novartis for high blood pressure. The agency has yet to approve a generic for either drug.

The court papers allege Ranbaxy made similar false filings for other drugs for several years. According to the suit, Ranbaxy used a group of lawyers and a consultant to draw up questionable papers so it could be the first to file for approval of a generic of several drugs even though it had no such generics in its pipeline and no intention of producing them. Its exclusivity, however, would block competitors from gaining it, according to Bloomberg.

The article quoted the suit as saying Ranbaxy could use that status "as a valuable bargaining chip with its brand and generic competitors." The piece did explain how such a "chip" could be used, but presumably Ranbaxy could negotiate financial arrangements with either a brand or a generics maker.

Apparently to gain standing to bring the suit, which alleges violations of U.S. antitrust laws, Meijer said it was seeking to represent people who purchased Valcyte and Diovan.

- here's the story from the Business Standard
- and here's the Massachusetts District Court, Boston docket

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