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Merck Says It Will Pay $573 Million Settlement In Zetia Antitrust Case

 |  April 30, 2023

Merck and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals settled claims for $573 million over allegations of delaying a generic version of the cholesterol drug Zetia.

Merck reported in its first quarter financial results on Thursday that it incurred a charge related to settlements with certain plaintiffs in the Zetia antitrust litigation, which impacted its earnings per share for the quarter.

Health insurers and pharmacies have filed a lawsuit against Merck and Glenmark, alleging that the companies made an anti-competitive agreement that breached antitrust laws.

Read more: Merck, Glenmark Must Face Antitrust Trial Over Drug Pricing

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals and US pharma giant Merck faced an antitrust lawsuit over allegations that the duo illegally settled a patent dispute in order to delay the launch of generic versions of the blockbuster cholesterol reducer Zetia.

As the owner of a patent for ezetimibe, Merck had sued Glenmark for patent infringement in 2009 in connection with Glenmark’s application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval of a generic version of ezetimibe. Merck also sued Mylan for patent infringement the same year in connection with the US FDA’s approval of a generic version of Vytorin, another Merck proprietary drug containing ezetimibe.

In 2010, Merck and Glenmark signed a written settlement agreement, which was approved by the court, providing, inter alia, that Glenmark would be permitted to market a generic version of Zetia beginning 2016.