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Court Approves $50 Million Settlement in Pfizer EpiPen Price-Fixing Case

 |  July 10, 2024

Pfizer has received final approval for a $50 million settlement to resolve a long-standing multidistrict litigation accusing the pharmaceutical giant of conspiring to inflate the prices of life-saving EpiPen injections. The approval, granted by Judge Daniel D. Crabtree of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, ensures immediate financial recovery for a class of direct EpiPen purchasers.

Judge Crabtree emphasized the value of the settlement’s immediate benefits in his Tuesday order, stating, “This immediate recovery is more valuable than a ‘mere possibility’ that Class Members might achieve a more favorable outcome ‘after protracted and expensive litigation’ that may well last ‘many years in the future.’”

The litigation stemmed from widespread public outrage in 2016, following Mylan’s dramatic price hike of a pair of EpiPens from $100 in 2008 to $600. This led to a series of lawsuits from wholesalers and consumers, accusing Mylan and Pfizer of anti-competitive practices. Plaintiffs claimed that Mylan, which owns the rights to market and distribute EpiPens and is now part of Viatris, along with Pfizer, which manufactured the device, engaged in monopolistic conduct to secure their market dominance and profitability. They specifically alleged that Pfizer and Mylan paid Teva Pharmaceutical Industries to delay the release of a generic version of the EpiPen.

Related: Pfizer’s Wyeth to Pay $39 Million to Settle Antitrust Claims on Effexor XR

In a 2021 ruling, Judge Crabtree dismissed the claims against Pfizer on the basis that Mylan, not Pfizer, directly sold the EpiPen. An appeal of this ruling was pending but had not yet been argued.

As part of the settlement, the court has awarded $16.7 million in attorneys’ fees to class counsel. This marks a notable resolution in the protracted legal battle, offering immediate financial relief to those impacted by the alleged price-fixing scheme.

Source: News Bloomberg Law