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    Giant Eagle Sues Pharma Firms; Seeks Sizable Damages

    Claims drug companies kept generic cholesterol-lowering meds off market after patent expiration

    Giant Eagle Inc. has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against New York, N.Y.-based Pfizer Inc. and India's largest pharmaceutical company, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., claiming that the parties conspired to keep generic versions of Lipitor off the market after Pfizer's patents expired in March 2010.

    The Pittsburgh-based regional retailer’s lawsuit seeks damages equal to the three times the “tens of millions of dollars” that it overpaid when buying the cholesterol-lowering medication wholesale between March 2010 and November 2011, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

    Pfizer denies Giant Eagle's allegations. “The Lipitor patent settlements, including the settlement with Ranbaxy, were submitted for review to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and are proper and lawful in all respects,” company spokesman Christopher Loder was quoted as saying in the local report.

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