(CN) — Pfizer Inc. has proposed to pay $345 million to settle litigation over price hikes of EpiPen, according to court documents filed Thursday.
The drug manufacturer, along with its subsidiaries King Pharmaceuticals and Meridian Medical Technologies Inc., was the target of several class action antitrust lawsuits going back to 2016. The cases were transferred to federal court in Kansas City, Kansas.
EpiPen is an auto-injectable device that injects a dose of epinephrine, a drug used for emergency treatments for anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction that can often result in death and serious injury.
Although Pfizer manufactures EpiPen, pharmaceutical company Mylan owns the brand. In 2017, Mylan paid $465 million in a settlement with the Department of Justice for overcharging the government for the drug.
An EpiPen package cost around $100 when Mylan first procured the right to make and distribute the drug in 2007. That price has increased to over $650 today.
In a statement made to Kansas City NPR station KCUR-FM, a spokesperson for Pfizer said the company “denies any wrongdoing and continues to believe its actions were appropriate.”
"This resolution reflects a desire by the Company to avoid the distraction of continued litigation and focus on breakthroughs that change patients’ lives,” the spokesperson said.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree dismissed most claims against Mylan three weeks ago, but OK’d other antitrust claims to move to trial, which is set to begin Sept. 7. The judge also granted summary judgment to Mylan’s ex-CEO Heather Bresch, daughter of Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Bresch had served as CEO from 2012 until 2020 when the company merged with Pfizer’s Upjohn to create Viatris.
Pfizer and plaintiffs used a neutral third party, former federal judge Layn Phillips, to mediate and come to the proposed settlement.
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