Baltimore sues J&J subsidiary, says it schemed to monopolize cancer drug

Baltimore officials sued a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, accusing the drugmaker of using "sham" patent litigation to delay the launch of lower-cost generics and forcing the city to needlessly spend millions of dollars on the medication, according to a STAT news report.   

The lawsuit claims the J&J subsidiary, Jassen Biotech, and its partner BTG , deceived the U.S. Patent and Trademark office when seeking a patent for its prostate cancer drug Zytiga. Prosecutors allege the drugmaker failed to disclose certain information to the trademark office and ultimately allowed the drugmaker to delay generic rivals' entrance to the market.

"When big pharma engages in anti-competitive tactics to maintain its profits and harms the city, we will enforce the law to both recover damages and deter future fraudulent conduct. The city needs every dollar for essential services," Baltimore City Solicitor Andre Davis told STAT.

Last month, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana filed a similar suit against Janssen, accusing it of filing "sham" patent litigation to keep generic forms of a different prostate cancer drug, Zytiga, off the shelves to maintain a monopoly.

Read more here.

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