Get 40% Off
⚠ Earnings Alert! Which stocks are poised to surge?
See the stocks on our ProPicks radar. These strategies gained 19.7% year-to-date.
Unlock full list

Pfizer agrees to pay $93 million to settle Lipitor antitrust lawsuit

Published 02/14/2024, 08:28 PM
Updated 02/15/2024, 12:21 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A person walks past the Pfizer building in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., March 2, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

By Mike Scarcella

(Reuters) - Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) has agreed to pay $93 million to settle antitrust claims by wholesale drug distributors that accused it of conspiring with India's Ranbaxy Laboratories to delay sales of less expensive, generic versions of the cholesterol drug Lipitor.

Attorneys for Lipitor purchasers including Rochester Drug Co-Operative Inc and Puerto Rico's Drogueria Betances LLC disclosed the agreement in a filing on Wednesday in U.S. court in Trenton, New Jersey.

The distributors' case will continue against Ranbaxy, the attorneys filing said.

The proposed settlement, which requires a judge's approval, comes after more than a decade of litigation. Pfizer did not admit liability.

Pfizer in a statement called the allegations "factually and legally without merit." It said the settlement was "fair, reasonable and the best way to resolve this litigation."

A representative for Sun Pharma, which acquired Ranbaxy in 2014, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pfizer introduced Lipitor in 1997, and the drug drove more than $130 billion in sales during its first 14 years on the market.

The pharma distributors claimed Pfizer fraudulently sought to extend its patent rights over Lipitor. They accused the company of paying Ranbaxy to delay introducing a generic version of Lipitor and engaging in sham litigation with Ranbaxy over the drug.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A person walks past the Pfizer building in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., March 2, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

Lawyers for the plaintiffs said the settlement provides "immediate economic relief" to class members and avoids the risk of continued litigation, potential appeals and no recovery. They said they will seek up to about $31 million in legal fees from the settlement fund.

The case is In re: Lipitor Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, No. 3:12-cv-02389-PGS-JBD.

Latest comments

This settlement is quite small money for Pfizer but at least a lesson to learn, hopefully.
Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.