U.S. Federal Trade Commission wants to revive Endo’s antitrust appeal despite bankruptcy

Signage is seen at the Federal Trade Commission headquarters in Washington, DC, U.S. August 29, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

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  • DC Circuit suspended agency appeal after Endo Chapter 11 filing
  • Endo seeks to resolve thousands of opioid lawsuits

(Reuters) – The impending bankruptcy of Endo International PLC is unlikely to prevent the U.S. Federal Trade Commission from challenging the dismissal of an antitrust complaint it filed against the pharmaceutical company, the agency told Reuters on Thursday. United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

The FTC asked the DC circuit to to re-establish a briefing schedule in the litigation, after the appeals court in August stayed the case pending Endo’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in the Southern District of New York.

The drugmaker has filed for bankruptcy as part of its effort to resolve more than 3,100 lawsuits over its alleged role in the nation’s opioid epidemic. US law may automatically freeze certain lawsuits until the bankruptcy proceeding is resolved. Endo asked a US bankruptcy judge to stay hundreds of lawsuits filed by state and local governments.

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In the DC Circuit, the FTC argued that the bankruptcy code’s automatic stay provision “does not apply to the government’s enforcement of its police and regulatory power, an exception that does four squares in this case”. The agency’s underlying complaint, filed in 2021, alleged that Endo entered into a settlement with Impax Laboratories LLC in 2017 that inhibited competition for the extended-release oxymorphone.

“The sooner the FTC can obtain an injunction against the deal, the sooner consumers should realize the benefits of lower prices from competitive entry by Endo or third parties,” FTC attorneys told DC Circuit. .

On Friday, spokespersons for the FTC and Endo declined to comment.

A representative for Impax owner Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc. did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Endo’s lawyers in Dechert told the DC Circuit in a deposit Monday that the company “does not take a position on the applicability of the automatic stay of the bankruptcy code on immediate appeal”.

Endo challenged the FTC’s claims in trial court, and U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled against the agency in March. Lambert said Endo had a “legal patent monopoly” which was protected by US intellectual property law.

Endo’s attorneys told the DC Circuit that the company “has publicly announced that it has ceased research and development of new opioid drugs and has not launched a single opioid drug.”

In August, Endo said it reached a $450 million settlement with more than 30 states to resolve opioid-related lawsuits.

The case is Federal Trade Commission v. Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc et al, US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, No. 22-5137.

For the FTC: Mark Hegedus of the FTC

For Endo: George Gordon of Dechert

Read more:

endo seeks to block government opioid lawsuits during bankruptcy

endo files for bankruptcy as US opioid litigation drags on

endo, impax defeats latest ftc opioid antitrust case

US ftc sues endo, impax over 2017 painkiller settlement

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