As many Texas residents may have heard, Pfizer, the world's largest drugmaker, has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit. The company agreed to pay $190 million to end the lawsuit that claimed it delayed generic versions of an epilepsy drug, Neurontin, by violating federal antitrust laws. Pfizer agreed to settle the lawsuit which, if approved by the court, will cover purchases of the drug from 2002 to 2008. The class action was certified in 2011 after the judge denied a motion to dismiss the case 2009.
The pharmaceutical liability lawsuit, which is 12 years old, alleged that the company deterred generic competition by improperly listing patents with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); marketed, promoted and sold the drug for off-label, or unapproved, uses; and pursued "sham" litigation regarding certain patents, as well as made misrepresentations to patent courts. The two sides had worked with a mediator to reach the settlement. In reaching the settlement, Pfizer has denied any wrongdoing.
Often, prescription drugs offer a benefit to society. Pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs cannot be successfully developed without significant costs to drug makers. Because of this, pharmaceutical companies facing legal challenges will necessarily need to enlist a strong defense. Likewise, those impacted by defective drugs or harmful drugs, or otherwise negatively impacted by the wrongdoing of a pharmaceutical company, may wish to pursue damages through a pharmaceutical liability class action. There are important requirements to form a class for a class-action lawsuit.
Because a class action lawsuit is of common benefit yet is not without complexities, it is important to have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the process. Whether facing a legal challenge as a pharmaceutical company or wishing to pursue pharmaceutical liability when harmed, the proper advice and guidance can oftentimes help bring about a successful outcome.