In industrywide price-fixing case, Sun Pharma opts to settle for $75M

After a phalanx of pharma companies failed to nix price-fixing allegations in a Pennsylvania district court earlier this month, one generics major has elected to settle.

Sun Pharma and its subsidiary Taro Pharmaceutical have agreed to settle for $75 million to put long-running antitrust litigation to bed. In addition to that upfront sum, the payout could be adjusted upward by some $20 million based on certain clauses in the settlement agreements, according to court documents filed late last week.

U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe of Pennsylvania’s eastern district endorsed Sun's settlement after a hearing conducted on March 8, according to the filing.

The lawsuit, which stretches back to 2016, originally centered on the heart rhythm drug digoxin and the skin infection antibiotic doxycycline, though it’s since grown to include allegations around roughly 80 meds. 

Sun and Taro—among many other drugmakers—were alleged to have taken part in a “conspiracy among manufacturers” to charge unreasonably high prices on generic medicines.

The plaintiffs said the drugmakers used trade shows, industry dinners, golf outings and other events to collude and carve out each manufacturer’s “fair share” of the market.

The settlement comes after Judge Rufe earlier this month denied almost all motions by the companies involved in the antitrust lawsuit to dismiss the price-fixing allegations. Aside from Sun and Taro, companies such as Amneal, Bausch Health and Viatris are also caught up in the antitrust imbroglio.

For its part, Sun settled a separate case last year when its generic unit Ranbaxy forked over $485 million to resolve—but not admit to—allegations of anticompetitive antics. In that case, generic drug buyers said Ranbaxy's fraudulent and inaccurate regulatory filings kept certain low-price generics off the market.