Viatris got a big win in June of last year when a Kansas City judge ruled the company wouldn’t face antitrust charges in a long-running case over its marketing strategy for its allergic reaction quick fix EpiPen.
Left over from the case was a class-action suit that was set to go to trial this month. But Viatris has agreed to a $264 million settlement to resolve a claim that the company employed a scheme to delay Teva Pharmaceuticals from entering the market with its generic version of the treatment.
Viatris revealed the move in its quarterly earnings report. The deal does not include an admission of wrongdoing and is subject to court approval.
In the case, brought on behalf of consumers and third-party payers, plaintiffs were seeking $1 billion in damages. They said Teva, Mylan and Pfizer engaged in a pay-for-delay settlement in 2012 that extended the exclusivity of EpiPen.
When that deal was struck, EpiPen was produced by Pfizer. Last year, when Pfizer’s generics unit Upjohn merged with Mylan, they formed Viatris.
Last year, Pfizer ponied up $345 million to settle its portion of the case. Teva was never a target of the action.
The case dates to 2017 when the plaintiffs charged Mylan with a number of anti-competitive strategies to build and maintain its EpiPen empire. In one case, the plaintiffs said Mylan pulled a "hard switch" by only offering the EpiPens in packs of two, forcing buyers to have to pay more with no medical rationale.
Mylan also paid excessive rebates to pharmacy benefit managers, commercial payers and state Medicaid programs as long as they didn't reimburse competing products, plaintiffs said. They further cited the well-known and dramatic price hikes Mylan implemented over the years. In 2008, during the hard switch, the price of EpiPen went from $100 to $600.
Along with the settlement announcement, Viatris said it has agreed to sell off its biosimilars business to Biocon for $3.34 billion.