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Actavis loses ruling on immediate-release Alzheimer’s drug

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(Bloomberg) — Actavis P.L.C. was ordered to continue to provide the immediate-release version of its Namenda Alzheimer’s drug in a win for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who sued the company in September.

The Dublin-based company confirmed in a statement today that U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet in Manhattan intends to issue a preliminary injunction in the antitrust case requiring it to continue distributing the immediate-release tablets. The ruling was filed under seal.

Schneiderman sued Actavis Sept. 15, alleging the drugmaker was “gaming” the system by discontinuing the immediate-release drug, which is facing competition from generic versions as the patent expires next year, and forcing patients to switch to the extended-release drug, which has longer-running patents.

“Today’s decision prevents Actavis from pursuing its scheme to block competition and maintain its high drug prices,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “Our lawsuit against Actavis sends a clear message: Drug companies cannot illegally prioritize profits over patients.”

Actavis said that the judge has set a hearing for Dec. 15 on the scope of the injunction and that it will immediately appeal the decision.

The case is People v. Actavis Plc, 14-cv-07473, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).


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