Retailers claim Pfizer kept generic drug off the market

Walgreens, others say pharmaceutical company violated U.S. antitrust law

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. was accused by Walgreen Co. and several other prescription drug retailers of violating U.S. antitrust law. The retailers claim Pfizer’s Wyeth unit and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd illegally kept a generic version of popular antidepressant Effexor XR off the market.

Walgreens, Safeway Inc., Kroger Co., Supervalu Inc., HEB Grocery Co. and American Sales Co. filed the complaint on Nov. 30, accusing Pfizer of engaging in “an overarching anticompetitive scheme to prevent and delay the approval and marketing of generic versions of Effexor RX,” which caused them to overpay.

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