Pfizer has reached a $345 million settlement with a class of consumers who allege they overpaid for EpiPens because of anti-competitive practices by pharmaceutical companies, potentially clearing the company from having to face a jury trial scheduled for early next year.
The settlement was submitted on July 14th, 2021 and is pending approval by a Kansas federal judge. If approved, Pfizer would pay out the multimillion-dollar settlement to the members of the class while denying any liability for the claims. The motion describes the settlement proposal as an opportunity for buyers, who filed the suit in 2017, to get financial relief in a timely manner.
The class action accused pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and EpiPen seller Mylan, of racketeering and state antitrust violations. Mylan, which is still set to face trial in January, was able to trim off the racketeering claims last month.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Daniel D. Crabtree cut claims against Mylan under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act over its marketing and sales tactics for the EpiPen, as well as claims for conspiracy and monopolization under various state antitrust laws based on allegations that Mylan used exclusive rebates to undermine competition.
Mylan must still face a jury over whether a pair of settlements ending patent litigation constituted an illegal reverse payment that violated state antitrust laws.
The sprawling multidistrict litigation was sparked after the price of an EpiPen climbed up to $600 in 2016 from the $100 it had been less than a decade earlier. The buyers claim that Mylan, which was selling EpiPens made by Pfizer, conspired to maintain the emergency treatment’s monopoly through large rebates issued to insurers and Medicaid plans that refused to cover a competing medication.