Wilkes-Barre, PA Woman in Suit Alleges Antitrust Violation Against Major Drug Manufacturers

Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from Roda & Nast, P.C.

    WILKES-BARRE, Pa., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- A
 Wilkes-Barre resident filed a lawsuit today against several drug companies
 alleging that they conspired to keep the price of the prescription drug K-Dur
 20 artificially high.  The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Dawn Maffei of Wilkes-
 Barre, PA by Pennsylvania Attorneys Dianne M. Nast of Roda & Nast, P.C. and
 Dennis J. Faucher of Miller Faucher and Cafferty, LLP, seeks an injunction
 against the drug manufacturers forcing them to make available low cost generic
 drugs.
     The complaint is a nationwide class action against brand name
 pharmaceutical manufacturer Schering-Plough and three generic manufacturers,
 Upsher-Smith, American Home Products, and ESI Lederle, a division of American
 Home Products, charging that Schering, the manufacturer of K-Dur 20, agreed to
 pay the generic manufacturers 90 million dollars to keep generic versions of
 K-Dur 20 off the market.
     K-Dur 20 is the brand name for a popular potassium chloride supplement
 prescribed to patients who have low potassium levels.  Depleted potassium
 levels can lead to serious cardiac problems.
     The complaint alleges that when Schering discovered that the generic drug
 companies were preparing to market their own versions of K-Dur 20, Schering-
 Plough filed patent infringement suits against Upsher and ESI for allegedly
 infringing Schering's K-Dur 20 patent.
     However, instead of litigating the patent dispute, Schering agreed to pay
 the alleged patent infringers 90 million dollars not to market their generic
 drugs.  The complaint seeks an injunction ordering Defendants to dissolve
 their illegal agreements that prevent consumers from purchasing low cost
 generic versions of K-Dur 20.
     Plaintiff's attorney Dianne M. Nast said the complaint alleges that
 consumers throughout the nation have been forced to pay higher prices for
 K-Dur 20 as a result of the Defendants' illegal agreements.  "This is a
 classic antitrust violation -- an agreement among competitors to prevent
 competition," said Nast.  According to Nast, "we are seeking an injunction
 allowing the generic versions of K-Dur 20 to go to market.  Typically, when
 generic versions of drugs become available, the price to consumers drops up 50
 percent."  Nast said, "The Federal Trade Commission estimates that the illegal
 agreements have cost consumers over 100 million dollars."
     The lawsuit, filed in federal court for the Eastern District of
 Pennsylvania on behalf of all consumers in the nation who have been forced to
 pay high prices for K-Dur 20, seeks injunctive relief under the federal
 antitrust laws, as well as damages for unjust enrichment.
 
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SOURCE Roda & Nast, P.C.
    WILKES-BARRE, Pa., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- A
 Wilkes-Barre resident filed a lawsuit today against several drug companies
 alleging that they conspired to keep the price of the prescription drug K-Dur
 20 artificially high.  The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Dawn Maffei of Wilkes-
 Barre, PA by Pennsylvania Attorneys Dianne M. Nast of Roda & Nast, P.C. and
 Dennis J. Faucher of Miller Faucher and Cafferty, LLP, seeks an injunction
 against the drug manufacturers forcing them to make available low cost generic
 drugs.
     The complaint is a nationwide class action against brand name
 pharmaceutical manufacturer Schering-Plough and three generic manufacturers,
 Upsher-Smith, American Home Products, and ESI Lederle, a division of American
 Home Products, charging that Schering, the manufacturer of K-Dur 20, agreed to
 pay the generic manufacturers 90 million dollars to keep generic versions of
 K-Dur 20 off the market.
     K-Dur 20 is the brand name for a popular potassium chloride supplement
 prescribed to patients who have low potassium levels.  Depleted potassium
 levels can lead to serious cardiac problems.
     The complaint alleges that when Schering discovered that the generic drug
 companies were preparing to market their own versions of K-Dur 20, Schering-
 Plough filed patent infringement suits against Upsher and ESI for allegedly
 infringing Schering's K-Dur 20 patent.
     However, instead of litigating the patent dispute, Schering agreed to pay
 the alleged patent infringers 90 million dollars not to market their generic
 drugs.  The complaint seeks an injunction ordering Defendants to dissolve
 their illegal agreements that prevent consumers from purchasing low cost
 generic versions of K-Dur 20.
     Plaintiff's attorney Dianne M. Nast said the complaint alleges that
 consumers throughout the nation have been forced to pay higher prices for
 K-Dur 20 as a result of the Defendants' illegal agreements.  "This is a
 classic antitrust violation -- an agreement among competitors to prevent
 competition," said Nast.  According to Nast, "we are seeking an injunction
 allowing the generic versions of K-Dur 20 to go to market.  Typically, when
 generic versions of drugs become available, the price to consumers drops up 50
 percent."  Nast said, "The Federal Trade Commission estimates that the illegal
 agreements have cost consumers over 100 million dollars."
     The lawsuit, filed in federal court for the Eastern District of
 Pennsylvania on behalf of all consumers in the nation who have been forced to
 pay high prices for K-Dur 20, seeks injunctive relief under the federal
 antitrust laws, as well as damages for unjust enrichment.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X97294121
 
 SOURCE  Roda & Nast, P.C.