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Impax Laboratories Inc. agreed to pay $20 million to settle claims that it conspired with Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. to monopolize the generic market for Medicis’ acne drug, Solodyn.
The settlement with end-payor plaintiffs comes after 10 days of bench trial before Judge Denise J. Casper in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. She discharged the jury March 29 when the parties filed their settlement. End-payors include health plans and benefit plans that paid the price of members Solodyn prescriptions.
A jury decision in the case would have been important because claims of this type, alleging that drug companies settling patent cases used those agreements as cover for market allocation, have not been vetted before juries since the U.S. Supreme Court changed the standards for such claims in 2013. Had it gone to the jury, this case would only have been the second jury verdict in such a so-called pay-for-delay action under the new standard.
Casper dismissed claims brought by big retailers on March 26 after they reached a settlement with Impax for an undisclosed amount. All remaining plaintiffs, and several defendants, had settled over the four-year course of the litigation.
Casper still must approve the settlement as fair to absent members of the class. The parties will file a motion for her preliminary approval no later than April 4, according to their agreement. Following that, the court will hold a formal hearing on the settlement and issue final approval.
According to the deal, counsel can apply for fees up to one-third of the settlement fund, plus costs. The agreement allows for a $5,000 incentive payment to each named plaintiff that took part in the suit on behalf of the end-payor class.
The case is In re Solodyn Antitrust Litigation , D. Mass., 14-md-02503, 3/29/18 .
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