In pharma's second "pay-for-delay" settlement in under a week, a class of retailers have dropped claims that Impax Labs made an illegal deal to delay the launch of its generic version of Valeant's acne drug Solodyn.
The agreement with retailers such as Walgreens, Kroger and CVS stipulates that each side will pay its own legal fees, a court filing stated; other terms weren't disclosed. A spokesperson for Impax didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
This week's development follows another settlement inked by Impax earlier this month—worth $35 million—with direct purchasers, according to court filings. Valeant, which acquired Solodyn in its 2012 Medicis buyout, last month disclosed its own $58 million settlement related to the allegations.
Despite the settlements, the Solodyn litigation still includes claims by insurers and consumers, Reuters notes. The case has been at trial since mid-March, according to the court.
The lawsuit claims Solodyn manufacturer Medicis and Impax violated antitrust laws with a 2008 pay-for-delay deal. Medicis forked over $40 million, plus more in "milestones," to Impax, which in return dropped a patent lawsuit and delayed its generic entrant, the lawsuit says. Impax has denied wrongdoing, according to Reuters.
So-called pay-for-delay deals have long irked federal officials and lawmakers, and the FTC has been working to get tough on them in recent years. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the deals aren't always lawful, undercutting a defense by drugmakers that they are legal.
Impax's deal follows a settlement last week by Endo, Teva and Japan's Teikoku Seiyaku to wrap up pay-for-delay claims over generic Lidoderm. That arrangement is worth $270 million.
Meanwhile, Impax is working to merge with Amneal in response to intense pricing pressure that's weighing on the generic industry. The company appointed former Actavis CEO as its helmsman last March and in October agreed to the $6.4 billion Amneal merger. Now, the drugmaker says it's on track to close the deal in the second quarter of this year.