In re: Flonase Antitrust LitigationDate Filed: July 14, 2008
District Court: Eastern District of Pennsylvania – 2-08-cv-03301
Appellate Court: 3rd Circuit 16-1124; Supreme Court Case No. 18-42
Nature of Suit: Generic Competition Block or Delay; Antitrust
Defendant Type: Pharma
Plaintiff Type: State
Court Document: https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/ca3/16-1124/16-1124-2017-12-22.html
On December 22, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that an antitrust suit filed by Louisiana’s Attorney General against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) isn’t barred by a settled class action. GSK has already paid $150 million to settle a class action alleging that it unlawfully delayed generic competition to its popular allergy drug Flonase, resulting in higher prices for the prescription drug. Although Louisiana technically qualified as a potential class member by virtue of being an indirect purchaser of Flonase when the class action was first filed in 2008, the state didn’t receive notice of the settlement. GSK sought to block the state’s suit on the grounds that the terms of the class settlement released class members’ claims. However, Judge Joseph Greenaway Jr. held that the sovereign immunity provision of the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution bars Louisiana’s involuntary inclusion in the class settlement agreement. Although some of Louisiana’s claims fall within the settlement, the state did not waive its sovereign immunity. GSK has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court on July 6th, 2018, challenging the Third Circuit’s decision. See The Source blog post.