Week Adjourned: 6.5.09

Some generics are better off left on the shelfTop Class Actions

Ask for Generic? Mmmaybe not. Sometimes it’s best to skip the generic version—and such may be the case with Budeprion XL, a generic formulation of the antidepressant Wellbutrin XL; the makers of Budeprion XL are the subject of a class action lawsuit filed this week in California. The problem seems to be that the generic form of the drug is not as effective and possibly not as safe as the patented version, so the suit alleges. The FDA has so far said the drug is safe, but they could order a special clinical trial to better assess the safety and efficacy of the generic version.

Top Settlements

“Expedia-dot-CON?” Maybe that’s how the jingle should go after the recent judgement against the internet travel site. Unhappy customers who joined a class action lawsuit alleging breach of contract will see the travel giant fork over $184 million in settlement monies. What did they do? Expedia bundled the service-fee charges with taxes into a single line item, failing to disclose the separate amounts of each to consumers. Because Expedia only remits taxes based on the wholesale price—which it never disclosed to consumers—the taxes appear higher to consumers than they actually are, and Expedia is able to mask the considerable size of its service fees. Nice.

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