Drugmaker giant, AbbVie, is facing a putative class-action lawsuit for its use of 136 patents on its drug Humira, which effectively protects it from competition until 2023. This complaint followed harsh criticism of AbbVie CEO, Richard Gonzalez, for the company’s strategic use of patents and high drug prices by the Senate Finance Committee just a month prior.
The complaint against AbbVie was filed in early March in a U.S District Court of Illinois. The plaintiff of the case is Local 1500 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, a union that represents employees of grocery store chains in New York. Meanwhile, the complaint lists numerous defendants, including AbbVie and seven additional manufacturers for their role in patent settlements with AbbVie.
The complaint states, “AbbVie has erected significant barriers to entry to block biosimilar competition,”, and adds, “Specifically, AbbVie has created and employed an exclusionary ‘patent thicket’ —an unlawful scheme whereby it secured over 100 patents designed solely to insulate Humira from any biosimilar competition in the U.S. for years to come.”.