Vaccine Manufacturer Merck Allegedly Used Anticompetitive Scheme to Overcharge Customers

A rotavirus vaccine antitrust lawsuit has been filed on behalf of customers who purchased the rotavirus vaccine RotaTeq directly from Merck & Co., Inc. One of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world, Merck & Co., Inc. allegedly violated United States antitrust laws when it engaged in an anticompetitive scheme to overcharge its customers. Affected parties may be eligible to seek compensation with the help of an antitrust attorney.

For more information, contact Attorney Group today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated antitrust attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.

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Plaintiff: Contracts Required Customers to Purchase Vaccines or Face Price Penalties

According to a class action lawsuit filed in early May 2018, plaintiffs claim that Merck & Co., Inc. built an anticompetitive scheme to “leverage its monopoly power in multiple pediatric vaccine markets to maintain its monopoly power in the Rotavirus Vaccine Market and, consequently, to charge supracompetitive prices to purchasers of its rotavirus vaccines.” As a result, plaintiffs in the case were “overcharged having paid artificially inflated prices for rotavirus vaccines.”

Merck is a leading manufacturer of vaccines in the United States and was the only seller of rotavirus vaccine (under the trade name RotaTeq) in the U.S. until 2008 when GlasxoSmithKline (GSK) received approval to market its rotavirus vaccine, Rotarix.

Prior to the approval of Rotarix, Merck offered “bundled” discounts to its loyal customers. The class action lawsuit alleges that Merck began requiring customers to buy all or nearly all of their rotavirus vaccines from Merck or be penalized on RotaTeq and other bundled Merck vaccines, potentially reducing the ability of GSK to compete with Merck on the price of rotavirus vaccines.

Merck’s bundled loyalty provision insulated their rotavirus vaccine from competition from GSK’s vaccine and artificially divided the market. As a result of Merck’s actions, the company was able to maintain the price of its rotavirus vaccine at high levels, instead of lowering prices when a competitive vaccine entered the market.

Affected Parties May be Eligible to File an Antitrust Lawsuit

When companies engage in wrongful conduct, or otherwise conspire to commit deceptive trade practices, they could be liable for any damages that result. In this case, if the allegations of violations of the Sherman Act against the vaccine manufacturer are proven, individuals and other entities, including private pediatric medical practices, may be able to recover the losses they suffered as a result of the defendants’ actions, along with other damages.

Individuals as well as private pediatric practices who have purchased rotavirus vaccines from Merck & Co., Inc. may be eligible to pursue damages by filing an antitrust lawsuit and are encouraged to seek the advice of an experienced attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.

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