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Second Circuit Agrees to Earlier Oral Arguments in Actavis, Although Preliminary Injunction Will Remain in Place

The Second Circuit announced on Monday that it would hear Actavis PLC’s appeal to overturn the preliminary injunction issued by Judge Robert Sweet of the Southern District of New York as soon as possible, with a projected date for oral argument during the week of April 13. The Second Circuit initially planned to hear the appeal in mid-May, but Actavis filed an emergency motion to request that the court schedule oral argument no later than the week of March 16 or, instead, assign the case to a merits panel to be decided on the briefs without oral argument. Although the appeals court is hearing the case on an expedited basis, it has refused to stay the injunction while it reviews the case.

As we previously reported, the preliminary injunction requires Actavis to continue selling the immediate-release tablet version of its dementia drug, Namenda, while the product-hopping case involving the defendants’ alleged efforts to force prescribers and patients to switch to a new extended-release version before a generic version can be introduced into the market remains pending in the district court.