GSK Gets New Trial with AbbVie Over Gay Jurer Exclusion

Jan 23, 2014


A federal appeals court has ordered a new trial for GlaxoSmithKline Plc against an Abbott Laboratories spinoff, AbbVie, because Abbott excluded a gay man from the jury.

Glaxo had sought $571 million, but after a four-week trial in 2011, the jury awarded Glaxo $3.5 million.

Glaxo accused Abbott of raising the price of Norvir (a drug that plays a key role in AIDS-fighting cocktails because it can boost the effectiveness of other drugs) by 400 percent in 2003, as part of an effort to harm competitors whose drugs were dependent on being used in combination with Norvir. Novir was commonly paired with Glaxo's Lexiva. Abbott was also selling its own blockbuster HIV combination pill, Kaletra.

Glaxo appealed the lower court's decision to allow Abbott to exclude a gay juror, and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the constitution prohibits jury strikes because of sexual orientation.

Read the Reuters press release