Viatris maintains legal winning streak with yet another EpiPen antitrust victory

As another round of EpiPen marketing litigation wraps, Mylan’s successor Viatris can chalk up another victory.

Late last week, a federal court in New York tossed investors’ claims against Viatris “in their entirety,” granting the company’s bid for summary judgment in the nearly 7-year-old lawsuit.

The securities fraud case, first lobbed at Mylan in 2016, asserted the company “misled investors by obscuring underlying violations of antitrust law and regulatory law."

With the verdict, Viatris has put “all pending claims against all defendants” to bed, the company said in a Friday release. Viatris says it’s “pleased” the court agreed with its “long-standing” belief that the charges “lacked both factual and legal bases.”

Investors attacked Mylan’s EpiPen marketing communications on three counts: First, plaintiffs argued Mylan hid EpiPen antitrust violations in its communications with shareholders; second, they said Mylan misled investors about rebating practices for the popular epinephrine injector; and finally, they claimed Mylan made “misleading” statements to investors around the dynamics of the generic drug market writ large, where Mylan allegedly took part in an “antitrust conspiracy.”

Based on the evidence and claims, it’s unlikely a jury would find that Mylan “consciously or recklessly misled shareholders about its own self-perception of compliance with the antitrust laws,” the court ruled.

The decision in New York marks the latest EpiPen victory for Viatris, which has shed or settled a slew of EpiPen marketing allegations over the past three years.

Back in the summer of 2021, Viatris won summary judgment in Kansas City in a case where plaintiffs accused Mylan of engaging in anticompetitive shenanigans to maintain its EpiPen empire. One charge related to Mylan’s alleged use of a “hard switch” when it started offering EpiPens exclusively in packs of two, forcing buyers to pay more with no medical rationale. The plaintiffs also claimed Mylan doled out excessive rebates to pharma middlemen, commercial payers and state Medicaid programs as long as they didn’t reimburse competing products.

In a separate case, plaintiffs alleged Viatris schemed with Teva to delay the entry of its rival’s generic epinephrine injector. Last February, Viatris settled that pay-for-delay case for $264 million.

And in July of 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit unanimously ruled against Sanofi’s bid to revive an antitrust lawsuit accusing Mylan of erecting an illegal allergy autoinjector monopoly. Sanofi, for its part, launched an EpiPen competitor, Auvi-Q, back in 2013. It stopped selling the product two years later when Auvi-Q was recalled over drug delivery concerns, Reuters reported at the time.