Congress of California Seniors Files Suit Against GlaxoSmithKline Over Generic Paxil Sales
The Congress of California Seniors, a coalition of consumer groups, on Thursday filed suit against GlaxoSmithKline, the second-largest pharmaceutical company in the world, over allegations that the company is "marketing a knockoff of its Paxil antidepressant to undercut a generic competitor," Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times reports. GSK has an agreement with the Par Pharmaceutical subsidiary of Pharmaceutical Resources to sell a generic version of Paxil. Under the agreement, which settled a lawsuit, GSK provides Par with generic immediate-release Paxil tablets for distribution in the United States. Par pays GSK a royalty on the sales. The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, alleges that GSK made the agreement with Par to "undermine" sales of a generic version of Paxil manufactured by Apotex and that GSK and Par are "deceiving consumers into paying more than necessary" for the Par version and "discouraging health plans from purchasing the lower-cost Apotex generic," Bloomberg/Times reports. "We feel strongly what they've done is manipulation in order to keep as high a profit as they can realize," Joan Lee, legislative liaison for CCS, said, adding, "It's time we step up and stop these practices." Par spokesperson Steve Mock said that the lawsuit "makes no sense" because the agreement with GSK was reached to settle a lawsuit in which Par had sought to sell a generic version of Paxil. "Authorized generics are pro-competitive," Mock said, adding, "If we were not on the market and Apotex were on the market alone for 180 days, I assure you the price they were charging wouldn't be lower than it is now. It would be higher" (Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times, 3/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.