Cephalon Wins Court Ruling Tossing Provigil Claims

Cephalon Inc., the drugmaker owned by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., won a court ruling tossing claims that it conspired with makers of generics to delay cheaper versions of its sleep-disorder medicine Provigil.

U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg in Philadelphia ruled yesterday that an overall conspiracy to improperly put off generic competition with the company’s biggest product “cannot be established.”

Cephalon signed four patent settlements with generic drugmakers so they wouldn’t begin selling Provigil until 2012. Wholesalers who bought the drug, health plans and Apotex Inc., a generic drug company, filed lawsuits challenging the agreements.

The agreements were individual arrangements between Cephalon and each generic drugmaker and not a global accord, Goldberg ruled. His ruling doesn’t affect a related suit by the Federal Trade Commission against Frazer, Pennsylvania-based Cephalon over such “pay for delay” agreements.

Petach Tikva, Israel-based Teva, the world’s biggest generic drugmaker, bought the company for more than $6 billion in 2011 to broaden its portfolio of brand-name drugs.

The case is King Drug Company of Florence Inc. v. Cephalon Inc., 06-cv-01797, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).