A Kansas federal court has preliminarily approved a $264 million deal that would end claims that Mylan colluded with Pfizer Inc. to obstruct generic versions of the EpiPen, the emergency drug used to treat severe allergic reactions, from entering the market.
U.S. District Judge Daniel D. Crabtree signed off on the deal between health care company Viatris Inc. — formerly known as Mylan — and a certified class of consumers who allegedly overpaid for EpiPen or authorized generic versions.
Final approval will have to wait until at least the second half of the year — Judge Crabtree has ordered a fairness hearing for July — but the settlement ends claims brought on behalf of class members nationwide who purchased the epinephrine auto-injectors indirectly from Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.
The plaintiffs alleged they paid higher prices because Mylan had conspired with EpiPen’s manufacturer Pfizer Inc. to block cheaper, generic versions of the product. The company does not admit to any wrongdoing in the agreement, but the settlement is meant to provide a full or partial reimbursement to those who bought between August 24, 2011, and November 1, 2020.
Class counsel is expected to make a request for attorneys’ fees in May. The current filing gave no indication how much they’d ask for, but the lawyers representing the class of consumers in the related litigation against Pfizer, which reached a $345 million settlement, scored a $115 million fee.
The consumer claims are part of broader multidistrict litigation that kicked off after the price of an EpiPen climbed to $600 in 2016 from the $100 it had been less than a decade earlier.
The suit claimed that Mylan and Pfizer had “preyed” on consumers for nearly a decade, “bilking them for hundreds of millions of dollars” because the companies had blocked competition to the EpiPen. The result of the “illegal scheme to monopolize the market” allowed Mylan to charge wildly-inflated prices for the EpiPen.