Lasco, Medimpex awarded damages from legal battle with Pfizer

Vincent Chen, attorney for Lasco Distributors
Jamaican entities Lasco Distributors and Medimpex have been awarded special damages for stock they had to dispose of during their court battle with international pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
Pfizer is to pay Medimpex $5.3 million in special damages, while Lasco was awarded $156,000.
Pfizer is also to pay the full cost of the proceedings.
The written judgement was handed down by the Supreme Court on Friday morning.
In 2005, attorneys for Pfizer successfully argued for an injunction to be granted against Lasco and Medimpex preventing sale of the generic form of the hypertension drug Norvasc. 
Vincent Chen, the attorney for Lasco Distributors, explained that the attorneys for the companies will have to return to court on or before November 24 for an assessment of final damages.
The parties have been in court since 2002 when Pfizer complained that the companies were infringing on its patent, and eventually got court orders blocking them from selling their products.
In the meantime, Justice Vivene Harris, who heard the case on Friday, indicated that Lasco Distributors is unlikely to receive the more than US$400 million it is seeking in final damages.
In its lawsuit, Lasco argued that it lost millions of dollars when the 2005 injunction was granted to Pfizer.
In her written ruling, Justice Harris argued that the market for the particular generic drug, would have doubled during the period of the injunction.
She argued that other players entered the market during the period, offering cheaper generics.
Justice Harris further pointed to the fact that the National Health Fund (NHF) would have made awards to various distributors of the generic drug on account of the low prices.
The judge highlighted the fact that Lasco Distributors sold more of  the drugs following the lifting of the injunction.
She indicated that Lasco failed to provide the data to show the losses it suffered as a result of the injunction. 

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