A Pennsylvania federal judge on Wednesday cemented a $25 million settlement in a class action suit alleging Johnson & Johnson blocked biosimilar competition to its immunosuppressive drug Remicade.
First approved in 1998 for Crohn’s disease, Remicade (a TNF inhibitor biologic also known as infliximab) has since been cleared in a slate of other immune-mediated conditions, including ulcerative colitis, psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, the yearly cost for some patients reaches $26,000, according to a complaint updated in 2018.
Despite the emergence of multiple biosimilars in the US — including Pfizer and Celltrion’s Inflectra, and Merck and Samsung Bioepis’ Renflexis — plaintiffs argued that J&J used its monopoly power to suppress competition and “forced health insurance companies and healthcare providers to enter into exclusionary agreements that effectively blocked competition for Remicade, thus causing Plaintiffs and members of the Classes (as defined below) to overpay on their infliximab purchases.”
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