Allergan, a pioneer in optical pharmaceuticals is undertaking a cost-cutting and restructuring program to achieve Wall Street earnings expectations in 2018. The plan anticipates the layoff of up to 1,400 employees including 400 open positions that will not be funded or filled.
The reduced headcount should come as no surprise to most employees as the company widely discussed the possibility of losing the “exclusivity” of their dry-eye treatment, Restasis (Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Emulsion), which is Allergan’s second-largest product.
Anticipating the possibility of an early patent loss, Allergan attempted to circumvent a patent review process by the federal court by transferring (sale-leaseback) its intellectual property rights to the sovereign Native American Tribe (Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe).
The scheme did not work and United States Circuit Judge William C. Bryson of the Eastern District of Texas invalidated four key patents for Restasis, thus opening the door for lower-cost generics in the future. Allergan plans to appeal and the FDA has not approved any generic replacements at this time.