Last week, Viatris — the company formerly known as Mylan, marketers of the EpiPen emergency epinephrine auto-injector — announced it had agreed to pay $264 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging the company leveraged its monopoly status to delay the introduction of Teva Pharmaceuticals’ generic version of the device.
Viatris indicated in their quarterly report that the settlement does not include an admission of wrongdoing on the part of the company.
Original damages sought in the case on behalf of consumers and third-party payers totaled $1 billion. The suit alleged Teva, Mylan and Pfizer — whose two subsidiaries King and Meridian manufacture EpiPen for Mylan — engaged in a “pay-to-delay” settlement in 2012 that extended the exclusivity of EpiPen.
Pfizer settled its portion of the case for $345 million last July. Teva was never targeted by the action.
Mylan leveraged the de facto monopoly status of EpiPen with insurers to raise the price from $100 to $600 over the years starting in 2008. In 2016, then Mylan CEO Heather Bresch was called before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to defend the price hikes.
Epinephrine auto-injectors like EpiPen are life-saving devices that must be carried by individuals with allergies to food, insect venom, and environmental substances in case they suffer a severe, sometimes fatal reaction known as anaphylaxis.
“Were the price increases attributable to market conditions, increases in manufacturing costs or shortages in the supply of epinephrine?” the complaint said. “Absolutely not. They were driven solely by unaccountable executives and companies who sought to profit off of human misery and fear.”
A Kansas City judge ruled last June that the company would not face antitrust charges in a long-running case over EpiPen.
A hearing is scheduled for March 11, 2022 where a judge will consider whether to approve the settlement.
EpiPen users can learn more about the settlement and submit their claims at EpiPenClassAction.com.
- Viatris Agrees to Settle EpiPen Antitrust Litigation for $264 Million — The New York Times
- Viatris inks $264M deal to resolve long-running EpiPen pay-for-delay case — Fierce Pharma
- Class Action Website — EpiPen Settlement Counsels