The Joseph Saveri Law Firm represents a class of California consumers and insurers in a case against Bayer Corporation, Barr Laboratories, and other generic drug companies in San Diego County Superior Court for violations of California antitrust law.
The suit alleges that Bayer paid Barr and the generic drug makers $398.1 million in exchange for their promise to delay the release of a cheaper generic version of the blockbuster antibiotic drug Cipro. This type of agreement—known as a “pay-to-delay” or “reverse payment”—allows brand pharmaceutical companies to avoid generic competition and to continue to charge supracompetitive prices for drugs with questionable patent protection. Plaintiffs allege that through this agreement the brand and generic companies conspired to force consumers to pay inflated prices for Cipro over an eight-year period, from roughly 1997-2005. The suit, In re Cipro Cases I & II (JCCP Nos. 4154 & 4220), seeks damages for affected consumers.
“Bayer’s illegal agreement with Barr and other companies has limited California consumers’ access to necessary antibiotics,” says Joseph Saveri, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs. “Many people have been forced to pay inflated prices for Cipro or to go without essential treatment. Meanwhile, these companies are reaping the economic gains of this unconscionable act.”
In 2013, while the case was pending before the California Supreme Court, the Class settled with Bayer for $74 million. In 2016, after obtaining a favorable 2015 landmark decision from the Supreme Court, the Class settled with generic defendants for $100 million. And in January 2017, just weeks before trial, the Class reached a $225 settlement with Barr, the sole remaining defendant, bringing the total Class recovery to $399 million: a record for this type of case.