A handful of high-profile new Lawsuits claim that a number of Big Pharma companies, including Gilead and Merck, engaged in “pay-for-delay” transactions, settling with up-and-coming generic rivals to stall their market debut and costing drug consumers hundreds of millions in missed savings as a result. Pharma watchers are probably acquainted with “pay-for-delay” agreements, which have been scrutinised by federal regulators and the subject of countless legal battles over the years.
Gilead’s lucrative HIV business has already been the subject of multiple Lawsuits, with critics alleging that the company leveraged its monopoly to stifle generic competition and maintain high prices. According to a complaint in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Wednesday, two of the country’s major pharmacy chains, CVS and Ride Aid, are suing Gilead, Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), and Teva for engaging in a “multifaceted strategy to suppress and delay” generic rivals of Gilead’s HIV medications.
During this time, Gilead allegedly profited from generic delays, according to the lawsuit. Merck is facing separate claims from two large insurance companies, Centene and Humana, alleging that the corporation used similar techniques for its cholesterol medications Vytorin and Zetia. In both instances, generic drugmakers Glenmark Pharma and Merck’s Schering-Plough are named as defendants.