On August 21, 2017, the Third Circuit overturned a decision that had applied excessive pleading standards against plaintiffs challenging reverse-payment settlements. Writing for a unanimous panel, Chief Judge Smith held that, in the wake of FTC v. Actavis, 133 S. Ct. 2223 (2013), courts should not impose reliability- or probability-based standards higher than those articulated in foundational pleading cases. The opinion consolidates cases challenging conduct related to Lipitor and Effexor XR. Factual background: Lipitor The blockbuster Lipitor drug is “designed to reduce the level of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream.” In re Lipitor Antitrust Litig., 868 F.3d 231, 242 (3d Cir. 2017). Pfizer obtained patent protection (the “’893 patent”) on the active ingredient in 1987, expiring (after
The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit applies an appropriate post-Actavis pleading standard (Lipitor)
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