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Grifols, S.A., and Grifols Shared Services North America, Inc., In the Matter of

The FTC required global healthcare company Grifols S.A. to divest blood plasma collection centers in three U.S. cities, among other conditions, as part of a settlement resolving charges that Grifols’ acquisition of Florida-based Biotest US Corporation is anticompetitive and violates federal antitrust law. The complaint alleges that, as proposed, the acquisition would harm competition in the markets for collection of human blood plasma in Lincoln, Nebraska, Augusta, Georgia, and Youngstown, Ohio. Grifols and Biotest US are the only companies that operate plasma collection centers in these cities, and, without a remedy, the merger would result in a merger-to-monopoly in these cities. Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Grifols will divest its plasma collection centers in these three cities to KedPlasma, which is a subsidiary of Kedrion Biopharma Inc., a leading manufacturer of protein products and the fifth-largest producer of plasma proteins worldwide. 

The complaint also alleges that, absent a remedy, the acquisition would harm the U.S. market for hepatitis B immune globulin, or HBIG, a plasma-derived injectable medicine that provides hepatitis B antibodies for preventing hepatitis B infections. When Grifols announced the proposed acquisition in December 2017, Biotest US owned 41 percent of ADMA Biologics, Inc., which has the largest share in the U.S. market for HBIG and competes with Grifols and one other supplier.  Biotest US has recently transferred its ownership share in ADMA to The Biotest Divestiture Trust, the parent company of Biotest US. Because Grifols is only seeking to acquire Biotest US and not its parent, Grifols will not acquire any ownership interest in ADMA under the proposed acquisition. Under the proposed consent agreement, Grifols is prohibited, without prior notification, from acquiring any ownership interest in ADMA or obtaining any rights to nominate or obtain representation on the ADMA Board of Directors.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
181 0081

Shire ViroPharma

The FTC filed a complaint in federal district court charging Shire ViroPharma Inc. with violating the antitrust laws by abusing government processes to delay generic competition to its branded prescription drug, Vancocin HCl Capsules. The complaint alleges that to maintain its monopoly, ViroPharma waged a campaign of serial, repetitive, and unsupported filings with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and courts to delay the FDA’s approval of generic Vancocin Capsules, and exclude competition. According to the FTC, ViroPharma submitted 43 filings with the FDA and filed three lawsuits against the FDA between 2006 and 2012. According to the FTC, ViroPharma knew that it was the FDA’s practice to refrain from approving any generic applications until it resolved any pending relevant citizen petition filings. Viropharma intended for its serial filings to delay the approval of generics, and thus competition and lower prices. The FTC seeks a court order permanently prohibiting ViroPharma from submitting repetitive and baseless filings with the FDA and the courts, and from similar and related conduct as well as any other necessary equitable relief, including restitution and disgorgement.

Type of Action
Federal
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
121 0062