Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) has been accused by five retailers of illegally delaying sales of generic versions of cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor.
Walgreen (NYSE:WAG), Kroger (NYSE:KR), Safeway (NYSE:SWY), SuperValu (NYSE:SVU) and HEB Grocery filed an antitrust lawsuit against Pfizer and Ranbaxy Laboratories on Thursday. The lawsuit claims that the two drug companies conspired to delay of generic versions of the drug to make a greater profit by forcing retailers into purchasing more Lipitor, Reuters reports.
Pfizer denies the charges.
“We are confident that Pfizer’s procurement and enforcement of its Lipitor patents was at all times proper and lawful,” company spokesman Christopher Loder told the news service.
Either way, within the first week of generic versions of Lipitor being unveiled, sales of the original Pfizer drug, which has been the best-selling in America, were cut in half.