Alfasigma Says Westminster Pharmaceuticals Committed Tortious Interference with Contract in Suit Over Medical Foods

A complaint filed Monday in Tampa, Florida by Alfasigma USA Inc., formerly known as Nestlé Health Science Pamlab Inc., claims that Westminster Pharmaceuticals LLC has induced two men to breach a settlement agreement reached in 2014 in a false advertising and unfair competition case concerning Alfasigma’s “high quality medical foods.” 

The lawsuit explains that Louisiana-based Alfasigma “specializes in the development, manufacture, sale, and distribution of medical foods throughout the United States.” For example, its products include a drug “formulated to address the distinctive nutritional requirements of patients with depression or schizophrenia,” and another “formulated to address the distinctive nutritional requirements of patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy.”

Westminster reportedly has offices in both Tennessee and Tampa, Florida. According to the suit, the company “‘claims to distribute generic drugs to pharmacies, hospitals, and trusted wholesalers and distributors across the country.’”

The settlement agreement at issue stemmed from prior litigation brought by Alfasigma against Virtus Pharmaceuticals Inc. for selling sub-par generic versions of its medical foods.

The case reportedly settled after trial and during jury deliberation. The parties’ agreement stated that two Virtus Pharmaceutical principals could not provide assistance to anyone in the business of making generic versions of certain Alfasigma products.

Now, the plaintiff alleges that the two principals have induced Westminster to violate that provision by joining the company as its CEO and Senior Vice President of Business Development and, moreover, helping it formulate and sell products forbidden by the settlement agreement.

The filing alleges that Westmister’s “sale of these products have diverted sales away from the Authorized Generics, to Plaintiff’s injury, and have further caused price erosion.” It also claims harm through loss of customers and to its reputation. The suit states one claim for tortious interference with contract and seeks injunctive relief and damages.

The plaintiff is represented by Carlton Fields P.A. and Shearman & Sterling LLP.