Ahold Sues Medicis, Teva, Barr, Mylan Over Acne Treatment

Ahold USA Inc., the operator of a supermarket chain, sued Medicis Pharamceutical Corp. and other drug companies claiming they violated antitrust laws by limiting competition for a medicine used to treat acne.

Ahold said that Medicis, the marketer of the anti-acne drug Solodyn, “orchestrated a scheme” with other pharmaceutical companies to maintain Medici’s monopoly on the medicine, which resulted in the retailer paying too much for it, Ahold said in the suit filed in federal court today in Boston.

“Medicis sought to insulate itself from generic competition, implementing at least seven different unlawful tactics,” Ahold said in the suit.

Solodyn, approved by the Federal Drug Administration in 2006, is Medicis’s best-selling product, according to the suit. Medicis paid several drug companies to drop patent challenges to Solodyn, the complaint states, delaying generic competition.

Medicis was acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX) Laurie Little, a spokeswoman for Valeant, didn’t immediately reply to messages seeking comment on the suit.

The defendants also include Impax Laboratories Inc. (IPXL), Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc., Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc., Sandoz Inc., Mylan Inc., Matrix Laboratories Ltd., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA), and Barr Laboratories Inc.

Ahold is seeking class, or group, status for the suit and a jury trial. Ahold USA, which operates the Stop & Shop supermarket chain, is a unit of Royal Ahold NV, based in Zaandam, Netherlands.

The case is Ahold USA v. Medicis Pharmaceutical 13-cv-12225, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

To contact the reporter on this story: Don Jeffrey in New York at djeffrey1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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