Pfizer Accuses J&J of Anticompetitive Business Practices over Remicade Biosimilar

| Daniel A. KamkarEric Furman, Ph.D.

In a recent development with the ongoing complex litigation involving Janssen Biotech’s arthritis biologic medicine Remicade (infliximab) and Celltrion’s biosimilar,[1] Celltrion’s partner Pfizer has filed a suit against Janssen’s parent company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania alleging that through anticompetitive pricing and exclusionary contracts with insurers and hospitals, J&J sought to preserve a monopoly over its sale of Remicade.[2] Pfizer alleges that these practices by J&J prevent it from entering into the market with its own biosimilar version of Remicade.[3] Pfizer claims that J&J’s actions violate federal antitrust laws and undermine the goals of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA).[4]

J&J has countered Pfizer’s assertions arguing that Pfizer has not demonstrated an actual attempt to compete with Janssen such as by offering discounts and rebates, and therefore cannot attribute its market share harm to Janssen.[5] J&J’s filings have urged the court to toss the suit, and state that:

By failing to plead that it is unable to compete with Janssen by offering its own bundled discounts, Pfizer falls short of demonstrating that it has suffered antitrust injury due to Janssen’s conduct or that the lower prices resulting from Janssen’s bundled discounts and rebates have resulted in harm to competition.[6]

Pfizer has responded stating that the motion should be denied because J&J’s actions violate federal law, and because J&J has not denied that it has exclusionary contracts with insurers and hospitals or that it sought to preserve a monopoly over its sale of Remicade.[7]