Antitrust issues are often a serious concern among health care clients, arising in the context of extraordinary events, such as mergers and acquisitions or formation of joint ventures, major legislative or policy announcements or from the regular conduct of business, such as exclusive or bundled pricing contracts between health plans and hospitals.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP attorneys have provided counseling and strategic planning advice in connection with mergers and joint ventures (including Hart-Scott-Rodino reporting), legislative and policy issues, and the many antitrust issues that arise in the course of a health plan’s business. We stand on the front line for our health care clients when they face antitrust litigation whether by government or private plaintiffs. We know the health care industry intimately and represent health plans in a number of matters.
The following is a representative list of matters we are handling or have handled:
- defended a large pharmaceutical company in a class action antitrust lawsuit in which the plaintiffs attacked four “reverse payments” patent litigation settlements, accusing the defendants of antitrust conspiracy and monopolization claims
- represented a generic pharmaceutical manufacturer in a non-public investigation by the FTC of settlements between drug companies involving patent litigation. The FTC filed a complaint against the branded company, but did not sue any of the generic companies, including our client.
- defended a health care equipment company in a monopolization suit arising from a distribution arrangement involving another company’s patented bone mill, a device used to grind bone for use in spinal fusion surgeries
- represented various industry organizations in connection with advocacy related to passage of the Affordable Care Act
- represented one of the largest global manufacturers of a medical device product in connection with a post-closing FTC investigation of acquisition of competing company; negotiated consent decree to satisfy the FTC’s concerns
- represented an orthopedic society and 41 of its members in defending a DOJ and Idaho Attorney General antitrust investigation into their interaction with the Idaho Industrial Commission and the Idaho legislature during a legislative and administrative effort to reform and revise the health care component of the state’s workers’ compensation system. The matter has involved multiple rounds of civil investigative demands to the society and nearly all orthopedic surgeons in Idaho. We made numerous appearances before the DOJ Antitrust Division, including many meetings and conferences with the section chief. The matter was resolved by consent decree.
- defended a large pharmaceutical company in proceedings brought against it by a small pharmacy in a class action antitrust lawsuit
- defended a pharmaceutical company in a Section 5 violation investigation of the Federal Trade Commission Act. Our client was charged with allegedly restricting competition in the sale of its pharmaceutical product.
- represented a health care equipment subsidiary in a Section 7 investigation of a $1.5 billion acquisition of medical test products manufacturers
- represented a pharmaceutical company in false claims litigation brought with the cooperation of the DOJ against another pharmaceutical company
- represented a nationwide class of hospitals and nursing homes in the $489.8 million settlement in a major monopolization class action. The settlement was one of the largest settlements of the year and one of the largest ever of its kind.