Humana lawsuit against drugmaker can move forward, judge says

A federal court in New Jersey ruled that Humana's lawsuit against Celgene can move forward, but must prove its claims that the drugmaker engaged in conduct that led to artificially high prices, Bloomberg reported April 28. 

Celgene holds patents for Thalomid, a leprosy medication, and Revlimid, a related drug that treats certain blood cancers, according to Bloomberg. Humana alleges that the drugmaker schemed to keep generic versions off the market to preserve its monopoly, violating federal antitrust law. 

Humana alleges that Celgene refused to give potential generic competitors samples needed to test for bioequivalence, filed “sham” patent infringement litigation, and entered into “pay-for-delay” settlements, according to the report. 

The payer alleges that if not for these actions, less expensive generic drugs could have reached the market as early as 2006, according to the report. 

Celgene is facing five other related lawsuits, including from UnitedHealthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and Cigna, according to Bloomberg

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