The lengthy antitrust battle between medical retailers and manufacturing giants Glenmark Pharmaceuticals and Merck & Co. is set for trial in April after a federal judge agreed that the entry of an infringing, generic product cannot be “precompetitive” and deserves further litigation.

A lawsuit filed in 2018 by a group of drug retailers and buyers alleged that Merck paid Glenmark a substantial amount in a “reverse payment,” designed to delay the entry of Zetia generics, a treatment for high cholesterol. Specifically, they alleged the companies leveraged a 2010 settlement in order to gain a monopoly share of profits over the drug. Claims were filed under the Sherman Antitrust Act, which provides that “every contract, combination … or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce … is declared to be illegal,” according to the federal judge’s order filed Feb. 10 in U.S. district court.

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