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Pfizer Wins Lipitor Lawsuit in Australia

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Melbourne, AustraliaPfizer may have lost its motion to dismiss in Lipitor lawsuits in the US, but the drugmaker is celebrating a victory in Australia. An Australian consumer watchdog filed a Lipitor lawsuit against Pfizer, alleging the company engaged in anticompetitive practices linked to its sales of generic Lipitor.

According to The Guardian (3/18/15), the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleged in its lawsuit that Pfizer engaged in anticompetitive practices by giving pharmacists heavy discounts in exchange for purchasing large amounts of the drugmaker’s generic version of Lipitor. This practice would have made it more difficult for other drugmakers to sell their generic versions of Lipitor. Pfizer allegedly undertook these activities just before it was about to lose its patent on Lipitor, which would have allowed other companies to sell their own generic versions of the anti-cholesterol medication.

The Guardian (2/25/15) writes that the judge found Pfizer took advantage of its market power but that power was not significant when Pfizer offered the discounts. Pfizer has defended its actions saying the company meets ethical standards.

The Australian federal court dismissed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s lawsuit, finding a lack of evidence. The commission has reportedly already filed a notice of appeal.

Lipitor (known generically as atorvastatin) is a statin, used to treat high cholesterol levels thereby reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Some patients, however, allege they developed diabetes as a result of taking Lipitor.

Pfizer has not been as successful in having lawsuits dismissed in the US. The company had moved to dismiss 10 lawsuits involved in the Lipitor diabetes multidistrict litigation, arguing that federal regulations preempted failure-to-warn claims. The judge disagreed with Pfizer, and declined to dismiss the lawsuits.

As of March 16, 2015, there are 2,079 lawsuits involved in the Lipitor multidistrict litigation before Judge Richard M. Gergel (South Carolina) in MDL-2502. That is up from 1,604 lawsuits consolidated as of January 15, 2015 and a huge increase over the 56 lawsuits that were initially consolidated in the MDL in February 2014.

There are also around 30 lawsuits in state court before US District Judge Peter G. Sheridan (New Jersey) in MDL 2332. Lawsuits filed against Pfizer allege the company knew or should have known about the risks associated with Lipitor but failed to warn patients about those risks. The first Lipitor bellwether trial is expected to reach court in October 2015.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
Conciderable memory loss and tremors, my memory loss is so bad that I forgetful with appointments, ppl's names who I've known all my life, incidences that have happened to me or other family members. It upsets that parts of my life are lost to me and I have to rely on other's to help me recall them. My tremors get so bad at times that I have trouble holding a cup of coffee and they are an embarrassment when out in public or when I'm visiting. I stopped taking Lipitor sometime ago but I'm left with these side effects.

Posted by

on
I have been taking generic Lipitor for many months. In May, 2015, I was diagnosed with type I I diabetes. Will I be qualified for the Lipitor lawsuit since I am taking the generic form. There is no company name listed on the container telling who made the drug.

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