Illinois firm claims $62M patent win against OxyContin maker

August 30, 2018

Purdue Pharma is paying $62 million to settle an Illinois company’s lawsuit that it violated multiple patents in the introduction of a reformulated OxyContin tablet.

Assertio Therapeutics had sued Stamford-based Purdue Pharma in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, where Purdue Pharma has its primary research lab in Cranbury. Assertio received $30 million on Tuesday, with Purdue Pharma scheduled to make the remaining, $32 million payment next February.

Assertio was previously known as Depomed until adopting its new corporate name in mid-August and relocating its headquarters to Lake Forest, Ill. from Newark, Calif.

In its original complaint filed in January 2013 in New Jersey federal court, Depomed had claimed Purdue Pharma violated three patents Depomed secured between 2002 and 2004, with Purdue Pharma having denied any infringement and having requested the court to invalidate the Depomed patents in question.

Purdue Pharma remains under siege by thousands of government and individual plaintiffs nationally seeking recompense for the deadly epidemic of opioid addiction. Earlier this month, Westport resident Nadja Streiter added her own lawsuit seeking class-action status against Purdue Pharma and other opioid makers and distributors, with Streiter’s attorneys including the Stamford law office of Zeldes, Needle & Cooper.

Streiter accuses the companies of unjust enrichment and violation of federal racketeering laws and Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act, among other claims.

“(Manufacturers) ... deceptively trivialized and failed to disclose the risks of long-term opioid use, particularly the risk of addiction, through a series of misrepresentations that have been conclusively debunked and rejected by the FDA and (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention),” Streiter’s lawsuit states. “Misrepresentations induced both doctors and consumers to use opioids to treat chronic pain, and induced insurers not to question this practice, which widespread medical norms had viewed as inappropriate before their misinformation campaign.”

Purdue Pharma ended marketing earlier this year of OxyContin, and on a corporate website acknowledges the public health risks opioids pose, while continuing to fight lawsuits that aim to hold it accountable.

Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman

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