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Lasco, Pfizer assessment case postponed

Published:Monday | July 18, 2016 | 2:37 PM

The assessment of damages in the multimillion-dollar law suit won by local companies Lasco Distributors and Medimpex Jamaica Limited failed to begin in the Supreme Court today.

International pharmaceutical firm Pfizer has been sued by the two Jamaican companies for preventing them from selling a generic form of the hypertension drug Norvasc.

The assessment hearing was today put off to September 26, because there are several other matters before the judge, Bertram Linton.

On Friday, the parties requested that the matter be removed from the case list since Justice Linton had other matters.

Vincent Chen, the attorney representing Lasco says he was very disappointed that the matter had to be put off for the second time this year:


Lasco attorney Vincent Chen

The Supreme Court is to determine the level of compensation to be awarded to the Lasco and Medimpex for losses they suffered when Pfizer prevented them from selling the drug for high blood pressure.

Lasco has asked the court to award it US$311 million in damages, but Pfizer has countered saying Lasco should be paid no more than US$518,000 for the period it was not allowed to sell the drug.

Medimpex is demanding US$11.5 million.

But Pfizer is asking the court to rule that it should not pay out more than US$68,000.

The matter arose from an injunction granted to Pfizer in 2005 which remained in effect until 2012 when the United Kingdom Privy Council upheld rulings by the local courts in favoured of Lasco and Medimpex.

Denise Kitson of the firm Grant Stewart, Phillips and Company is representing Pfizer.