Drugmakers cut deals in price-inflation suit

Remember the legal wrangle over the price of cancer drugs? The lawsuit pitted insurers, patients, attorneys general--perhaps even a few kitchen sinks--against 30 drug companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, Schering Plough. At issue: Whether the companies artificially inflated drug prices, then sold the drugs to doctors at a discount, giving doctors the spread--and themselves an unfair advantage over competitors who weren't playing the game (though with so many companies allegedly involved, who wasn't?).

The latest? GlaxoSmithKline settled for $70 million, and Bristol-Myers and AstraZeneca are cutting deals. In June, a judge found Bristol-Myers, AstraZeneca and Schering-Plough liable for the price inflation. No word yet on whether Schering-Plough is also negotiating a settlement.

- read this item from The Wall Street Journal