EpiPen manufacturer Pfizer has reached a $345 million settlement with EpiPen consumers who alleged that the company used anti-competitive practices along with retailer Mylan, which amounted to racketeering and state antitrust violations.
Pfizer submitted the EpiPen settlement to Kansas federal court on Thursday for approval.
The Pfizer EpiPen settlement follows a 2017 class action lawsuit where consumers accused both companies of conspiracy after the price of an EpiPen climbed from $100 to $600 in less than a decade, Law360 reports.
The consumers claim that Pfizer and Mylan plotted to maintain EpiPen’s monopoly by issuing large rebates to insurers and Medicaid plans that refused to cover competing medications. The two companies are also accused of making reverse-payment patent settlements and using other methods to stop the emergence of generic competitors, Law360 reports.
As part of the EpiPen settlement, Pfizer would continue to deny any liability for the claims. A spokesperson for Pfizer told Law360 that the company “denies any wrongdoing and continues to believe that its actions were appropriate.”
“This resolution reflects a desire by the company to avoid the distraction of continued litigation and focus on breakthroughs that change patients’ lives,” the spokesperson said.
The motion for approval says that the EpiPen settlement is an opportunity for consumers to get timely financial relief.
“Thus, the $345 million immediate recovery, particularly when viewed in the context of the risks, costs, delay, and the uncertainties of further proceedings, weighs in favor of preliminary approval of the settlement,” the motion said.
Mylan is scheduled to face a jury trial in January over whether a pair of settlements ending patent litigation constituted an illegal reverse payment that violated state antitrust laws, Law360 reports.
Recently, U.S. District Judge Daniel D. Crabtree cut down the claims against Mylan, trimming off cut claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, as well as claims for conspiracy and monopolization under various state antitrust laws.
Co-lead counsel for the buyers, Paul J. Geller of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, told Law360 that the settlement “does not resolve the case against Mylan.”
“Class plaintiffs look forward to trying that case in an upcoming jury trial.”
However, lead counsel for Mylan, Adam K. Levin of Hogan Lovells, told Law360 that Mylan had always believed that its conduct was lawful and pro-competitive and it “remains confident in its defenses.”
The Pfizer EpiPen settlement, which proposes a hearing for final approval in October, includes language that allows the company to back out of the agreement if the court “permits a second opportunity to opt out of the class and valid requests for exclusion from the class exceed certain criteria.”
If approved, the settlement funds would be divided into two pools, one for individual consumers and one for third-party payors.
What do you think about Pfizer’s settlement with EpiPen users? Let us know in the comments section!
Former U.S. District Judge Layn R. Phillips worked as a mediator.
The consumers are represented by Keller Rohrback LLP; Sharp Law LLP; Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP; Pritzker Levine LLP; Burns Charest LLP; The Lanier Law Firm; and Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.
Mylan is represented by Hogan Lovells.
Pfizer is represented by White & Case LLP and Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP.
The EpiPen Antitrust Class Action Lawsuit is In re: EpiPen Marketing, Sales Practices and Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 2:17-md02785, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.
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