Antitrust Law Daily $345M settlement with Pfizer over EpiPen monopolization litigation receives preliminary approval
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Monday, July 26, 2021

$345M settlement with Pfizer over EpiPen monopolization litigation receives preliminary approval

By Nicole D. Prysby, J.D.

The court granted preliminary approval, appointed a settlement administrator, approved the class notice, and scheduled a final fairness hearing, in litigation alleging that Pfizer and Mylan schemed to monopolize the epinephrine auto-injector device market.

The federal district court in Kansas gave preliminary approval to a $345 million settlement between consumer and third party payor plaintiffs and Pfizer defendants (Pfizer, Inc., King Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Meridian Medical Technologies, Inc.) in litigation alleging that EpiPen manufacturer Pfizer and marketer Mylan devised an illegal scheme to monopolize the market for epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) devices. The consumers alleged that Mylan and Pfizer, among other activities, worked together to exclude or delay competition and to monopolize the EAI market, and created a scheme that raised the price of the EpiPen from $100 to $600 by launching a campaign of false and misleading statements. The settlement does not include the Mylan defendants. The $345 million settlement fund would be allocated into two pools: individual consumers and third party payors. The court approved the proposed settlement, appointed a settlement administrator, approved the notice to class members, and scheduled a final fairness hearing for October (In re Epipen [Epinephrine Injection, USP] Marketing, Sales Practices and Antitrust Litigation, July 23, 2021, Crabtree, D.

Background. Several antitrust lawsuits related to the EpiPen product were consolidated in Kansas federal district court. Three of the lawsuits involved individual consumers or third-party payors, alleging antitrust, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and consumer protection violation claims. The consumer class alleged that EpiPen manufacturer Pfizer and exclusive EpiPen marketer Mylan (Mylan N.V., Mylan Specialty L.P., Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) maintained a monopoly over the EpiPen market and its profitable revenues by devising an illegal scheme to monopolize the market for EAI devices. The consumers alleged that Mylan and Pfizer, among other activities, worked together to exclude or delay competition and to monopolize the EAI market. The consumer and third party payor plaintiffs reached a proposed $345 million settlement with Pfizer defendants (Pfizer, Inc., King Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Meridian Medical Technologies, Inc.). Plaintiffs motioned for preliminary approval of the settlement.

Proposed settlement approved. The court approved the proposed settlement, appointed a settlement administrator, approved the notice to class members, and scheduled a final fairness hearing. The court found the settlement to be fair, reasonable, and adequate; the settlement was negotiated at arm’s length and had no obvious deficiencies. The classes for settlement are defined as: (1) all persons and entities in the U.S. who paid or provided reimbursement for some or all of the purchase price of branded or authorized generic EpiPens for the purpose of consumption, and not resale, between August 24, 2011, and November 1, 2020; and (2) all persons and entities in the Antitrust States (Alabama, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah) who paid or provided reimbursement for some or all of the purchase price of Branded EpiPens between January 28, 2013, and November 1, 2020, for the purpose of consumption, and not resale.

The court scheduled a fairness hearing for October 27, 2021. The court appointed A.B. Data, Ltd. as settlement administrator and ordered distribution of the notice package to begin no later than August 4, 2021. After the fairness hearing, the court will determine whether the plan of Allocation proposed by class counsel and any application for attorney fees, charges, expenses,Or awards should be approved.

The case is No. 2:17-md-02785-DDC-TJJ.

Attorneys: Amanda Klevorn (Burns Charest, LLP) for Rosetta Serrano. Adam K. Levin (Hogan Lovells US, LLP) for Mylan N.V. Ada Wang (White & Case, LLP) for Meridian Medical Technologies, Inc., King Pharmaceuticals, LLC and Pfizer, Inc.

Companies: Mylan N.V.; Meridian Medical Technologies, Inc.; King Pharmaceuticals, LLC; Pfizer, Inc.

MainStory: TopStory Antitrust GCNNews

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