August 12, 2004
SETTLES WITH MAKERS OF GENERIC VERSION OF CHILDREN’S
J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Antitrust Division
has settled a civil law enforcement action with
forty-nine other states and commonwealths against Perrigo Company
and Alpharma, Inc., charging 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. The states’ case was a joint investigation with
the Federal Trade Commission, led by Maryland and four other states.
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 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 a 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.
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 will help ensure that
these companies will not engage in similar conduct in the future.
Motrin® is a registered trademark of Johnson & Johnson,
who is not a party in this lawsuit.