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"We are confident that Pfizer's procurement and enforcement of its Lipitor patents was at all times proper and lawful," Pfizer said in a statement. "The Lipitor patent settlements, including the settlement with Ranbaxy, were submitted for review by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and are proper and lawful in all respects."
The lawsuit claims that due to the defendants' "scheme to delay and suppress generic Lipitor competition, in whole or in part, plaintiffs have paid hundreds of millions of dollars more for atorvastatin calcium than they would have paid absent such conduct."
Pfizer's revenue from brand-name Lipitor fell about 40 percent in the first quarter of this year, to $1.4 billion. That amount likely would have dropped more, if Pfizer had not offered the discounts to prescription benefit managers, along with copayment cards that helped about 750,000 patients to stay on brand-name Lipitor for just $4 per month.
The plaintiffs are seeking triple damages plus court and attorney costs. Their attorney, Deborah S. Corbishley of Miami, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Pfizer shares closed Friday trading down 13 cents to $22.54. The stock has changed hands between $16.63 and $23.30 in the past 52 weeks.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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