In 2010 a lawsuit filed on behalf of consumers who were allegedly forced to pay higher prices for the antidepressant was denied the grant of Wellbutrin class action lawsuit certification by a federal judge. It was said that high price was a result of GlaxoSmithKline’s attempts to keep a generic form of the medication off the market.

Wellbutrin is brand name for bupropion. It is an antidepressant drug. Wellbutrin is used for treatment of major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder.  It works in brain and effectively treats depressive disorders. It is produced by GlaxoSmithKline.

It is used for treatment of depression. It improves mood and instigate feeling of well being after using it. It acts by maintaining and restoring chemical balance in brain. It helps to restore certain natural chemicals or neurotransmitters in brain. It is also used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. It is also used to help people in quitting smoking. It decreases cravings and withdrawal effects. It is also used to treat bipolar disorder.

The Health & Welfare Plan for the Sheet Metal Workers Local 441 in Mobile, Alabama filed the class action lawsuit over Wellbutrin. This suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The class action status was sought on the behalf of all individual consumers and more than 20,000 third parties. The third party included as health care plans and insurers.

The lawsuit blamed Glaxo of attempting to delay the release of generic Wellbutrin. It was alleged that it did so through frivolous patent lawsuits against generic drug makers. But this suit was denied class action certification by U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel.  The judge denied certification on the basis of impossibility of chances for plaintiffs to prove that the class members were financially injured by Glaxo’s actions.

Judge Lawrence F. Stengel said that it is impossible to find out which customer genuinely suffered financial loss due to this delay. He said it is impossible to know whether the customers would have shown brand loyalty to GlaxoSmithKline and would continue to buy brand-name Wellbutrin. It was more difficult as generic versions of Wellbutrin were also available in the market. Thus there is no class action case, he ruled.

Wellbutrin primarily contains bupropion hydrochloride. It is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. It was approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1985 for treatment of depression. A year later, in 1986, it was taken off the market on grounds of its side effects resulting into seizures. It was again introduced in the market in 1989 after a federal review. This review concluded that the seizures were only occurring with high doses and hence prescribed a lowered daily dosage of the drug.

Later a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology linked it with increased risk of heart defects if taken during pregnancy. It brought Wellbutrin under scanner.

Research revealed that it has double chance of causing congenital heart problem in unborn children if mother consumes this drug in first trimester of pregnancy compared to those who are not on this drug. But there was no evident proof of birth defects caused by Wellbutrin.