Pfizer agrees to $345M settlement in lawsuit over EpiPens

Pfizer agrees to $345M settlement in lawsuit over EpiPens
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Pfizer and two other companies have said they will pay $345 million to settle lawsuits alleging anticompetitive practices in the price hikes of EpiPens.

According to documents filed on Thursday with a federal court in Kansas City, Kan., the three companies — Pfizer, Meridian Medical Technologies Inc. and King Pharmaceuticals Inc. — have asked the court to grant preliminary approval to pay $345 million to settle the lawsuits. 

If U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree agrees to move forward with the settlement, the three defendants could avoid a trial scheduled for September, KCUR reported.

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The settlement is a result of class-action lawsuits filed in 2016 against Pfizer, Mylan and others, alleging that anticompetitive conduct had been committed regarding the device that injects epinephrine into the body when a person has a severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis.

According to KCUR, Pfizer manufactures the device, but Mylan owns the right to the device’s brand. 

Mylan received the rights to distribute and market the device in 2007, and the price of the EpiPen was around $100, KCUR reported. However, an EpiPen currently costs over $650 before discounts are included.

“Pfizer has reached an agreement to fully resolve plaintiffs’ class action claims against Pfizer, which is subject to court approval. Pfizer denies any wrongdoing and continues to believe that its actions were appropriate," a company spokesperson told The Hill in a statement. "This resolution reflects a desire by the Company to avoid the distraction of continued litigation and focus on breakthroughs that change patients’ lives.”

 

Rex Sharp, who represents the plaintiffs in the lawsuits, told KCUR in an email that while the court does have to give final approval of the proposal, his clients were happy that Pfizer had reached a settlement. 

There is still ongoing litigation with Mylan, however.

—Updated at 4:32 p.m.