Pfizer settles EpiPen price hike lawsuits for $345M
Pfizer has agreed to pay $345 million as part of a settlement related to a 5-year-old lawsuit over the company’s price hikes on the lifesaving EpiPen.
Plaintiffs across the country raised concerns over the price of the autoinjector 2-pack, which they said spiked from about $100 in 2007 to $608 in 2016 — an increase of over 600%.
“Were the price increases attributable to market conditions, increases in manufacturing costs, or shortages in the supply of epinephrine? Absolutely not. They were driven solely by unaccountable executives and companies who sought to profit off of human misery and fear,” the consolidated class action complaint from 2017 alleged.
The complaint also alleged that Pfizer violated certain state antitrust and federal racketeering laws, harming competition and causing consumers to overpay for their EpiPens. And the court noted that of the $1 billion that former Mylan CEO Heather Bresch told Congress her company had invested to enhance the EpiPen and make it more available, $879 million was spent on marketing and selling the EpiPen.
In announcing the settlement, however, Pfizer, which manufactures the EpiPens, denied that it has engaged in any wrongdoing, denied any liability for the claims and denied that plaintiffs suffered any injuries or damages.
And while the court dismissed many of the claims against Mylan in this suit last month, the company in 2017 agreed to pay $465 million to resolve US Justice Department claims that it knowingly misclassified EpiPen as a generic drug to avoid paying rebates.