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State Settles With Makers Of Generic Version Of Children's Motrin®
August 12, 2004
Attorney General Steve Rowe announced today that Maine and forty-nine other states and commonwealths have settled a civil law enforcement action against Perrigo Company and Alpharma, Inc, both makers of the generic version of Children's Motrin®. The complaint charges the companies with antitrust violations that resulted in the destruction of competition in the market for over-the-counter generic store-brand versions of liquid suspension Children's Motrin®. The civil complaint and settlement order will be filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. This case was a joint investigation with the Federal Trade Commission. The Federal Trade Commission announced the settlement of its own lawsuit against Perrigo and Alpharma today; the cases will be filed together in the same court. To resolve this civil law enforcement action, Perrigo and Alpharma have agreed to make combined payments of $10,000 to each litigating state, and will be paying approximately $1 million into funds administered by the National Association of Attorneys General to help support future antitrust enforcement efforts.
Perrigo and Alpharma, Inc., are the only two FDA-approved manufacturers of generic over-the-counter versions of liquid suspension ibuprofen, a drug product used to temporarily reduce fever and relieve minor aches and pains in children. The states allege that, in 1998, Perrigo and Alpharma entered into an agreement that gave Perrigo 100% of the market for generic versions of this product. The states further allege that Alpharma never began selling its generic product, and that Perrigo captured 100% share of the market. The lack of competition caused retail stores that sell store brand products to pay more for this product than they would have paid in a competitive market.
Attorney General Rowe said, "We continue to be vigilant in our efforts to find out why Americans are paying the highest prices in the world for pharmaceuticals. We are focusing particular attention on anti-competitive behavior that attempts to keep generic versions of drugs off the market."
Because this lawsuit was filed as a law enforcement action, the states sought civil penalties and equitable relief. The relief that was obtained through the settlement prohibits the companies from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
Motrin is a registered trademark of Johnson & Johnson, who is not a party in this lawsuit.
CHRISTINA MOYLAN, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, 207-626-8838