Federal judge rules in Rockford’s favor in city’s legal battle with drug maker

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A federal judge has ruled in favor of the City of Rockford in an ongoing lawsuit against drug maker Mallinckrodt.

The judge rejected a motion filed by drug maker Mallinckrodt and pharmacy service company Express Scripts, which sought to reverse a previous ruling that allows the city to proceed with the suit.

The City alleges price gouging which cost city taxpayers nearly $500,000.

The lawsuit contends that Mallinckrodt raised the price of the drug Acthar from $40 per vial in 2001 to $35,000.

They say the drug is used to treat children typically under two-years old who suffer from spasms or seizures associated with conditions like Epilepsy, and is currently the only FDA approved drug which has been found to be effective.

The City alleges that Mallinckrodt has a monopoly on the drug and has abused its monopolistic powers to make huge profits from self-insured communities like Rockford, and charges the company with violations of the federal antitrust laws and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act.

Other plantiffs from across the country joined the lawsuit or filed similar suits.

Rockford’s lawsuit mirrors a Federal Trade Commission suit alleging antitrust violations which the company settled for $100 million. That settlement did not include the City of Rockford.

The United Kingdom-based company at the time said it strongly disagreed with the allegations, but settled anyway.

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