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

 |  April 11, 2024

Pfizer’s subsidiary Wyeth has reached a $39 million settlement to resolve allegations of anticompetitive behavior in connection with its antidepressant drug Effexor XR.

The settlement, revealed in a filing to a New Jersey federal court by plaintiffs’ lawyers, comes after over 12 years of legal battles accusing Wyeth of colluding with rival Teva to delay the release of a cheaper generic version of the drug.

According to Reuters, the proposed deal, if approved by a judge, would put an end to protracted litigation against Wyeth, which Pfizer acquired for $67 billion in 2009. Despite Pfizer’s assertion that the claims are baseless, the company has deemed the settlement as the most suitable resolution to the long-standing dispute.

Read more: EU: Pfizer offers concessions for Hospira deal

The lawsuit, brought forth by drug purchasers including Rochester Drug Co-Operative and Stephen L. LaFrance Holdings, alleges that Wyeth and Teva engaged in anticompetitive practices, leading to inflated prices for Effexor XR. The plaintiffs claim that Wyeth made what is known as a “reverse payment” to Teva to delay the market entry of a generic version of the drug, resulting in consumers paying higher prices.

While Wyeth has opted to settle, the case against Teva will proceed. Teva, for its part, has consistently denied the allegations.

The settlement, agreed upon by both Wyeth and the plaintiffs, aims to avoid further legal expenses and the uncertainties of a trial. For Wyeth, Effexor XR has been a significant revenue generator, with annual sales reaching $4 billion at its peak.

Source: Reuters