In a recent turn of events, pharmaceutical company Pfizer filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson over anticompetitive pricing allegations. Long story short, Pfizer has a biosimilar that competes with a Johnson & Johnson drug. Pfizer claims that J&J has made “’exclusionary contracts’ for Remicade with health insurers, hospitals and clinics effectively prevented them from offering Pfizer’s lower-priced copy so they could retain rebates and other J&J perks.”
“If such tactics are widespread, and I suspect they are, the Pfizer case will be the beginning of a wave of cases, challenging a behavior that helps drug companies erect competition-free zones, long after a drug’s patent has expired,” said Robin Feldman, director of the Institute for Innovation Law at the University of California Hastings.
The idea is that if these contracts are in place they prevent employer groups, employees, even the government from having the option to pick the lower priced drug. What is worse is this lawsuit concerns only two competing drugs. Now imagine there are hundreds of high cost drugs out there that could quite possibly currently be steered away from the cheaper version through similar contracts in what seems like an effort to keep a bigger slice of the pie.
Does this sound all to familiar with some other companies in the pharmaceutical industry?
Check this out, Mylan hit with racketeering suit over big price hikes of EpiPen.