April 28, 2008 / 11:26 PM / 11 years ago

US judge moves FTC's Cephalon suit to Pennsylvania

 WASHINGTON, April 28 (Reuters) - A Federal Trade Commission
lawsuit accusing Cephalon Inc CEPH.O of trying to keep
generic versions of its Provigil sleep disorder drug off the
market will transfer to a court in Pennsylvania, a federal
judge in Washington ruled on Monday.
 The ruling was a setback for the FTC, which had sought to
keep its lawsuit in the federal court in Washington, D.C.
 Cephalon had asked to move the case to the Eastern District
of Pennsylvania, where several class action lawsuits related to
the same issue are pending against the company.
 "The most compelling point in Cephalon's favor is the risk
of inconsistent judgments that would arise if this case is not
transferred," U.S. Judge John Bates wrote in his ruling.
 "Although there are some differences between the private
parties' claims against Cephalon and the government's case --
namely that the private litigants must demonstrate antitrust
injury and prove damages -- at the core the two matters involve
identical issues of fact and law," he wrote.
 In February, the FTC sued Cephalon and accused it of
reaching settlements with four generic drugmakers in which the
companies agreed to delay making a copycat version of Provigil
until 2012 in return for lucrative side agreements with
Cephalon. The settlements were made with Teva Pharmaceutical
Industries Ltd TEVA.O, Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc BRL.N,
Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd RANB.BO and Mylan Inc MYL.N.
 The FTC has fought similar settlements with generic drug
makers for years, arguing they violate antitrust law and keep
drug prices high.
 Provigil, used to treat excessive sleepiness, is Cephalon's
biggest product with sales of $852 million last year. The
company has said it believes the settlements with the four
generic drugmakers were legal.
 (Reporting by Julie Vorman; Editing by Braden Reddall)

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