Shire Sues Allergan, Claiming Bundling Tactics Block Restasis Competitors

October 6, 2017: By Jon Swedien

legal issuesShire filed a lawsuit against Allergan on Oct. 2, alleging its competitor in the dry eye market has used an “anticompetitive scheme” to block or limit Xiidra’s entry into Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.

In the suit, Shire argues Allergan uses bundled discounts—which leverage Allergan’s glaucoma medications—as well as exclusive deals and other methods to keep Xiidra’s market share in Medicare Part D plans to 10 percent, compared with Restasis’ 90 percent. Conversely, Xiidra has achieved a 35 percent share in commercial drug plans since its US FDA approval in July 2016, according to Shire’s suit.

Allergan spokesman Mark Marmur told Reuters the lawsuit has no merit, and the company complies with Medicare procedures.

Shire filed the complaint in the US District Court of New Jersey.

In the complaint, Shire states one Medicare prescription drug plan told the company: “You could give [Xiidra] to us for free, and the numbers still wouldn’t work,” because of the bundled package Allergan offered.

Shire claims in the suit that patients can appeal for Xiidra when their plan only offers Restasis, but this increases their copays by two to five times.

In addition, Shire said that, when it has gotten Medicare plans to offer Xiidra, it’s often as a “non-preferred” item, which also increases copays by two to five times.

Shire argued that Allergan’s methods do not save patients any money because Restasis must often be used in conjunction with a topical prescription steroid, while Xiidra has the same list price as Restasis and does not require the use of any additional drugs.

Shire claimed that Allergan’s methods also hurt consumers because Restasis is approved to treat a limited subset of dry eye patients, while Xiidra is approved to treat all of the signs and symptoms of dry eye and can be prescribed to treat more patients.

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