Class Plaintiffs Settle With Bausch, Lupin, and Assertio for Glumetza

On September 22, 2021 U.S. District Judge William Alsup preliminarily approved settlements with Bausch Health Cos. Inc., Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Assertio Therapeutics Inc. The purchasers’ claims concern a scheme to allocate the market for Glumetza, a blockbuster diabetes drug.

$454 Million Settlement

The preliminarily approved settlement is worth $454 million. Bausch agreed to pay the direct purchaser class $300 million; Lupin agreed to pay $150 million; and Assertio agreed to pay just under $4 million. The settlements were reached several weeks before trial was set to begin.

Alleged Reverse Payment Scheme

The purchasers’ claims concern a scheme to allocate the market for Glumetza, a blockbuster diabetes drug. The Glumetza litigation concerns a “reverse payment” where Defendant settled patent litigation by agreeing to a one-year “no authorized generic” agreement that delayed generic competition and gave the Bausch Defendants the ability to impose price increases in Glumetza of over 500%. Due to the severe price increases imposed by Valeant, and the lingering effects of the market allocation agreement, the generic Glumetza product on the market is still more expensive than brand Glumetza was prior to the July 2015 price increases.

Glumetza Antitrust Litigation

The Glumetza litigation was filed in July 2019, and Judge Alsup certified a class of direct purchasers on August 15, 2020. The litigation had survived attempts by Lupin claiming the statute of limitation expired.

In addition to the settlement with the direct purchaser class, the Defendants reached undisclosed settlements with a group of retailer plaintiffs such as CVS and Walgreens that had opted out of the direct purchaser class. These settlements likely total an additional several hundred million dollars.

The end-payor class in the Glumetza litigation was dismissed early in the case, but one end-payor (Humana) has claims pending in the Alameda Superior Court for both its direct and indirect purchases. Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky is representing Humana in this state court litigation. 

Glumetza Sales and Revenue

Glumetza sales were one billion in 2016. In 2015, the price of Glumetza jumped from under $6 to over $50 a tablet.  Judge William Alsup said of the price change: “I don’t think you’ll ever be able to explain to a jury $51 a pill when it was $5 before”.  As a result of the scheme, drug wholesalers estimated several billion in additional drug charges since 2012.

Antitrust Class Actions Law Firm

When pharmaceutical companies conspire to fix drug prices, participate in “pay-for-delay” schemes, or otherwise engage in anticompetitive behavior, Schneider Wallace represents the interest of health insurers in multi-district litigation.  While class actions can be an effective way for individuals with relatively small personal damages to recover their losses, insurance companies bear a large proportion of that burden in the first instance.  As a result, insurance companies often suffer substantial damages because of anticompetitive conduct in the healthcare industry. Our team of experienced antitrust litigators have the knowledge and experience that it takes to successfully prosecute these complex matters.

In re Glumetza Litigation, No. 19-cv-5822 (N.D. Cal.)