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Lakeland Reg'l Med. Ctr., Inc. v. Astellas US, LLC

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

August 15, 2014

LAKELAND REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER, INC., on behalf of itself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff -- Appellant,
v.
ASTELLAS US, LLC and ASTELLAS PHARMA US, INC., Defendants -- Appellees

Page 1281

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. D.C. Docket No. 8:10-cv-02008-VMC-TGW.

For LAKELAND REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER, INC., on behalf of itself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff - Appellant: Stephen R. Senn, Ronald David Evans Jr., Peterson & Myers, PA, Lakeland, FL; Andrew E. Brashier, Timothy R. Fiedler, Archie I. Grubb II, Beasley Allen Crow Methvin Portis & Miles, PC, Montgomery, AL; Jack Palmer Smith III, Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC, Wichita, KS.

For Astellas Us, Llc, Astellas Pharma Us, Inc., Defendants - Appellees: Chris S. Coutroulis, Amanda Arnold Sansone, Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, PA, Tampa, FL; Brenda L. Danek, David P. Frazier, Susan Haberman Griffen, William B. Raich, Sanya Sukduang, Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner, LLP, Washington, DC; Daniel Greenfield, Jana D. Jobes, Zachary A. Madonia, David M. Schiffman, Dale E. Thomas, John Treece, Megan M. Walsh, James R. Wexler, Sidley Austin, LLP, Chicago, IL.

Before ANDERSON, Circuit Judge, and EBEL,[*] Circuit Judge, and UNGARO,[**] District Judge.

OPINION

Page 1282

EBEL, Circuit Judge.

Defendants-Appellees Astellas US, LLC and Astellas Pharma US, Inc. (collectively " Astellas" ) holds patents on a cardiac test and sells its unpatented pharmaceutical product, Adenoscan, for use during tat test. Plaintiff-Appellant Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Inc. (the " Medical Center" ), which conducts these cardiac tests, alleges that Astellas is able to overcharge the Medical Center for the Adenoscan product by unlawfully tying the patented right to perform the patented cardiac test to the purchase of the unpatented Adenoscan in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. At issue in this appeal is the district court's refusal to certify the Medical Center's tying claim as a class action. We AFFIRM.

BACKGROUND

Healthcare providers often test for coronary artery disease using a procedure called myocardial perfusion imaging

Page 1283

(" MPI" ). This test is most accurate when carried out while the heart is stressed by, for example, administering adenosine to the patient during the procedure. Adenosine is a naturally occurring chemical compound that causes selective blood vessels to dilate. Astellas has held two patents for performing an MPI using adenosine; the first patent expired in March 2009 and the second will expire in March 2015. Astellas does not offer healthcare providers a freestanding license to perform its patented MPI procedure. Instead, healthcare providers obtain an implied license to perform the MPI procedure by purchasing Astellas's unpatented adenosine product, Adenoscan, for use during the procedure.

When this litigation began, Adenoscan was the only adenosine product that the Food and Drug Administration (" FDA" ) had approved for use during an MPI. There are other adenosine products available in the market, however, and healthcare providers are not bound by the FDA's approval ruling, but can, instead, use any adenosine product during an MPI that the healthcare providers, in their medical judgment, deem appropriate. Exercising that prerogative, the Medical Center began using chemically-identical adenosine products that were cheaper than Adenoscan during MPIs performed at the Medical Center. Astellas responded by threatening to sue the Medical Center for performing Astellas's patented MPI procedure without a license.

The Medical Center sued Astellas first for, among other claims, violating federal antitrust laws by illegally tying the implied license to perform MPIs involving adenosine to the purchase of Adenoscan. See 15 U.S.C. § 1.[1] According to the Medical Center, this unlawful tying arrangement enabled Astellas to charge 450% more for Adenoscan than the price for other, chemically-identical adenosine products. As relief, the Medical Center sought 1) treble damages for the amount Astellas had ...


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