Pfizer Inc., the same company that has produced one of the COVID vaccines, has just agreed to pay a settlement to resolve lawsuits over EpiPen price increases.
In 2016, several class action lawsuits were filed against Pfizer and its subsidiaries Meridian Medical Technologies Inc. and King Pharmaceuticals. The suits alleged that the companies engaged in anticompetitive conduct related to EpiPen.
According to information from Health Day, “EpiPens are auto-injectable devices that deliver the drug epinephrine for emergency treatment of a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.”
Pfizer, who has agreed to pay a $345 million settlement to resolve the lawsuits over the steep EpiPen price increase, isn’t the only company involved in the lawsuit.
Another company that is a defendant in the lawsuit is Mylan, owner of the EpiPen brand. Even though the devices are made by Pfizer, Mylan acquired the right to market and distribute them in 2007. At that time, an EpiPen package cost around $100 without pharmacy coupons or manufacturer discounts. Today, the product costs more than $650.
According to Kansas City’s NPR station KCUR-FM, court documents filed in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas, show that Pfizer and its two subsidiaries requested that the court give preliminary approval to the settlement.
Approximately three weeks before these documents were filed, most of the claims against Mylan were dismissed, though the judge did allow antitrust claims against the company to proceed to trial. The trial is scheduled to start on September 7.
Rex Sharp, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, has announced that his clients are pleased that Pfizer agreed to the settlement.
In an email to KCUR-FM, a spokesperson for Pfizer denied any wrongdoing by the company, asserting that the settlement was sought to avoid “the distraction of continued litigation and focus on breakthroughs that change patients’ lives.”
The settlement still needs to be approved by the court.