Viatris Inc, the drugmaker formerly known as Mylan, said on Monday it had agreed to pay $264 million to resolve a class-action lawsuit alleging it engaged in a scheme to delay generic competition to its EpiPen allergy treatment.
The proposed settlement would resolve litigation that began following public outrage in 2016 over Mylan’s decision to raise the list price for a pair of EpiPen to $600 from $100 in 2008, fueling a debate about rising U.S. drug costs.
The case, brought on behalf of consumers and third-party payers like insurers, until recently was slated to go on trial this month, with the plaintiffs seeking $1 billion in damages, a sum that under some state antitrust laws could be multiplied.
The lawsuit accused Mylan and Pfizer, which manufactured the EpiPen, of engaging in wide-ranging anticompetitive conduct that allowed them to maintain a monopoly over the market for the devices.
But U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree in Kansas City, Kansas, last year dismissed much of the case against Mylan, leaving only a claim concerning a 2012 patent litigation settlement with generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
Viatris said the settlement, which is pending court approval, does not contain any admission of liability.
The plaintiffs had alleged the defendants entered into an unlawful “pay-for-delay” settlement with Teva that resulted in the delayed release of a generic version of the EpiPen, allowing Mylan to raise its product’s price without fear of competition.
The plaintiffs alleged that Mylan as part of a “quid pro quo” agreed to similarly settle unrelated patent litigation involving a brand name drug Teva produced and delay the release of Mylan’s proposed generic version of that medication.
Teva and Pfizer denied wrongdoing. Pfizer agreed last year to settle for $345 million. Teva was not a defendant.