Shire (LON:SHP) is suing Allergan, alleging that the Botox maker was scheming to block doctors from prescribing its new treatment for dry eye disease, Reuters has reported. The rare disease specialist won US Food and Drug Administration approval in July last year for Xiidra, the first dry eye disease drug to win FDA approval since Allergan’s Restasis in 2002.
Shire’s share price has been little changed in London this morning, having inched 0.06 percent lower to 3,906.50p as of 08:33 BST, slightly underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.01 percent higher at 7,439.51 points. The group’s shares have lost just under 23 percent of their value over the past year, and are down by some 16 percent in the year-to-date.
Reuters reported last night that Shire had accused Allergan in a complaint filed in New York of violating antitrust laws to preserve its roughly 90 percent share in Medicare prescription drug plans for its older and ‘clinically inferior’ dry eye drug Restasis, and block prescriptions of the FTSE 100 group’s rival treatment Xiidra.
“Quite simply, Allergan has and will continue to use bundled discounts, exclusive dealing, coercion and interference to unlawfully ‘block’ Shire from competing with it, and to maintain its monopoly in the Part D market at all costs,” Shire said, as quoted by Reuters, referring to the Medicare drug plans.
Allergan spokesman Mark Marmur meanwhile told the newswire that the lawsuit had no merit, and that the company complied with Medicare procedures.
The news comes after Shire said in August that it was also seeking European approval for Xiidra. If approved, the product will be the first and only new-class treatment for the condition in Europe.