On September 30, 2015, U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo
granted class certification to over 26,000 pediatricians, medical
practices, vaccine distributors, and health systems that purchased
meningitis vaccines from defendant Sanofi Pasteur Inc. The
court simultaneously denied Sanofi's motion to exclude plaintiffs'
class experts following a three-day Daubert hearing
that was held earlier in September.
The antitrust suit was filed in 2011. Judge Arleo's
opinion summarized the facts as such:
For many years, Sanofi had a 100% monopoly over the
conjugate quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine ("MCV4") market.
Sanofi's MCV4 vaccine, Menactra, usually is administered to
children to inoculate against four strains of meningitis bacterium.
Sanofi also had dominant market share in several other pediatric
vaccine markets, including: (1) Diphteria, Tetanus, and Pertussis
("DTaP") vaccines; (2) Inactivated Polio Virus ("IPV") vaccines;
and (3) Haemophilus influenzae type B ("HIB") vaccines.
Novartis-which did not sell other pediatric vaccines-planned to
bring a competing MCV4 vaccine, Menveo, to market by late 2009. In
mid-2009, Sanofi became aware of the potential competition. It
responded by bundling Menactra with its other pediatric vaccines
and substantially increasing its prices. Customers who purchased
from Sanofi a certain percentage of all four pediatric
vaccines-MCV4, DTaP, IPV, and HIB received a "loyalty discount"
that dropped prices back to what those customers had paid
immediately before Menveo entered the market. Customers who did not
purchase a sufficient percentage of the relevant vaccines from
Sanofi paid substantially higher prices on all four
Thus, the complaint alleges that Sanofi's bundling impeded
competition from Menveo and caused meningitis vaccine prices to be
higher than they otherwise would have been for pediatricians,
medical practices, vaccine distributors, and health
In response to the latest ruling, Berger & Montague
managing shareholder Eric L. Cramer, who is leading the case for
the firm, said, "We are gratified that the Court denied Sanofi's
motion to exclude the testimony of our preeminent economic experts
and certified a class that includes over 26,000 physicians and
health systems across the country. We look forward to
advancing our case to trial and vindicating the rights and
interests of the members of the class that we represent to purchase
vaccines at competitive prices."
Berger & Montague is co-lead counsel to the class.
Managing shareholder Eric L. Cramer, shareholder Michael
Kane, and associate Zachary D. Caplan oversaw the class
certification and Daubert briefing and
conducted the three-day Daubert hearing.
The case is Adriana M. Castro, M.D., P.A. et
al. v. Sanofi Pasteur Inc., Civil Action No.
2:11-cv-07178, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New