SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A federal judge on Thursday finalized two class action settlements worth $270 million, ending four years of litigation over an alleged antitrust conspiracy to keep a generic form of the Lidoderm pain patch off the market.
Under the terms of two deals approved Thursday, drug makers Endo, Teikoku and Watson will pay $166 million to a class of direct buyer plaintiffs and $104.7 million to a class of end-payor plaintiffs.
The pharmaceutical firms were sued in 2014; accused of striking an anti-competitive settlement deal in May 2012 that blocked a cheaper generic version of Lidoderm from hitting the market for more than a year.
As part of that settlement, Watson agreed to delay launching its generic patch until September 2013 and to drop a pending patent suit against Endo and Teikoku, creators of the original Lidoderm painkiller. In exchange, Endo gave Watson $96 million worth of Lidoderm patches and promised not to launch its own generic patch until 7 ½ months after Watson’s generic hit the market, according to the plaintiffs.
Last year, Endo submitted to an injunction barring it from striking anti-competitive pacts with generic drug makers to resolve antitrust claims with the Federal Trade Commission.
In February 2017, U.S. District Judge William Orrick certified two separate classes of plaintiffs — one consisting of direct purchasers of Lidoderm and another group called end-payor plaintiffs, whose financial harm was more indirect.
For the $166 million settlement with direct buyers, Endo will pay $60 million, Watson will pay $71 million, and Teikoku will forfeit $35 million.
For the separate $104.7 million deal with end-payor plaintiffs, Watson will pay $41 million, Endo will pay $40 million, and Teikoku will cover a smaller share of $23 million.
On Thursday, Orrick also approved attorneys’ fees awards for each class. The judge awarded $47.3 million in attorneys’ fees and costs to lawyers for the direct purchaser plaintiffs.
He also approved a fees award of $34.9 million for the end-payor class, finding it justified to apply a 1.37 multiplier to the lawyers’ billable hours because they “obtained a significant benefit” for the class. Orrick also approved another $3.9 million in reimbursement of litigation costs for the end-payor class.
Peter Kohn, lead class counsel for the direct purchaser class, and Daniel Girard, lead class counsel for the end-payor class, did not immediately return emails seeking comment after business hours Thursday.
Kohn is with Faruqi & Faruqi in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Girard is with Girard Gibbs in San Francisco.