The Federal Court has today dismissed a case brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) against Pfizer Australia for alleged misuse of market power and exclusive dealing. The case arose from Pfizer’s sale of its own generic artorvastatin (Lipitor) product to pharmacies.
Pfizer’s patent which prevented generic entry into the artorvastatin market expired in May 2012. Prior to patent expiry, Pfizer’s Lipitor sales exceed $700m per year. The ACCC alleged that just prior to patent expiry, Pfizer offered pharmacies discounts and rebates on the Pfizer generic artorvastatin product which were conditional on the purchase of minimum order quantities (12 months’ supply). The ACCC alleged that this strategy was to prevent generic competition in the market for artorvastatin and to substantially lessen competition.
The Court disagreed. Stay tuned for more when the Court’s reasons are published (they are currently embargoed while being reviewed for confidential information).
For more on this case from our competition colleagues, see here.