Mylan Agrees to $264 Million Settlement in Kansas City, Kansas, Litigation Over EpiPen Price Hikes | KCUR 89.3
The company formerly known as Mylan Inc. has agreed to pay $264 million to resolve a class action lawsuit over huge EpiPen price hikes.
The settlement — if approved in a federal court in Kansas City, Kansas — comes on top of a $345 million settlement last year of the same lawsuit by Pfizer Inc.
Mylan reached a settlement agreement shortly before the case went to trial on Feb. 22, and terms were disclosed in court documents on Monday.
Mylan is now known as Viatris Inc. and is based in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The settlement still needs to be approved by U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree, who is overseeing the litigation. But because the settlement is very similar to the one reached with Pfizer, which Crabtree approved last year, he should give it the green light.
The litigation dates back more than five years, when numerous class action lawsuits were filed against Pfizer, Mylan and other defendants by consumers and insurers.
EpiPens are self-injectable devices that deliver epinephrine, a drug used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis. It is most commonly caused by food allergies, but can also be caused by insect bites, medications, and other substances.
The lawsuits alleged that Mylan, Pfizer and their affiliates engaged in an unlawful scheme to monopolize the EpiPen market by raising the price of the device from $100 to $600 and offering rebates and rebates to managers of pharmaceutical benefits and insurers in exchange for their commitment not to reimburse competitors. some products. The price of the epinephrine dose of EpiPen has remained at around $1.
The lawsuits also alleged that the companies obtained overlapping patents on minor modifications to the EpiPen, then engaged in bogus patent litigation to prevent generic competition.
Additionally, they accused Mylan of offering public schools free or discounted EpiPens on the condition that the schools enter into exclusive contracts with the company. Mylan reportedly spent $4 million lobbying Congress to pass the Emergency Epinephrine School Access Act, which became law in 2013 and gives federal funding priority to schools that stock EpiPens .
During a September 2016 congressional hearing, the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, accused Heather Bresch, then CEO of Mylan, of exploiting a “cheap old drug that doesn’t ‘has virtually no competition’ and raise ‘the price and again and again as high as you can.
Even though Mylan raised the price of EpiPens, Bresch, the daughter of Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, was rewarded with pay raises that saw her pay jump from about $2.5 million in 2007 to nearly $19 million in 2015, more than a seven-fold increase. This sparked fury from EpiPen users, many of whom said they could no longer afford the device.
Bresch stepped down as CEO of Mylan in 2020 after Mylan merged with Pfizer’s Upjohn unit to form Viatris.
In 2017, Mylan paid the federal government $465 million for misclassifying the EpiPen as a generic drug, allowing it to overcharge Medicaid by $1.27 billion.
And in 2019, he paid $30 million to settle a case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which alleged Mylan failed to disclose to investors the government’s investigation into whether it overcharged Medicaid.
Last year, Crabtree dismissed racketeering claims against Mylan and Bresch, ruling that the plaintiffs failed to show that mail or wire fraud resulted in inflated prices for the EpiPen. But he declined to dismiss the antitrust claims based on a settlement Mylan reached with generic drug maker Teva in 2012. The settlement required Teva to wait until 2015 to launch a generic product comparable to the EpiPen.