Pfizer has agreed to pay $345 million to resolve a proposed class action lawsuit brought by consumers claiming Pfizer and Mylan engaged in anti-competitive practices when they exorbitantly inflated the cost of EpiPen. If the Pfizer EpiPen settlement is approved by the Kansas federal judge, Pfizer could be cleared from a jury trial scheduled for January 2022. Beasley Allen’s consumer protection attorneys are representing the class of Alabama residents in the case.
EpiPen is a handheld device that treats life-threatening allergic reactions by delivering a dose of epinephrine. Pfizer manufactures EpiPen. Mylan markets and distributes the devices. The settlement does not resolve claims against Mylan, and Pfizer doesn’t admit wrongdoing.
The lawsuit stems from public outcry that resulted when Mylan jacked up the price of the emergency allergy treatment. EpiPens cost just $100 in 2007, when Mylan first acquired the rights to sell the product, but skyrocketed to more than $600 by 2016. The action shined a spotlight on the high cost of medication in the United States.
Buyers filed a lawsuit in 2017 accusing Pfizer and Mylan of conspiring to maintain the emergency treatment’s monopoly by offering large rebates and incentives to Pharmacy Benefit Managers on the condition that the PBMs refuse to cover competing generic medications. Buyers also accused the companies of employing reverse-payment patent settlements and other tactics to thwart the emergence of generic competitors.
In 2017, Mylan agreed to pay $465 million to resolve claims by the U.S. Department of Justice that it overcharged the government for EpiPen.
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