Steven N. Williams of the Joseph Saveri Law Firm is on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee representing drug purchasers in a consolidated class action suit in the United States District Court in Kansas City, Kansas, against Defendants Mylan N.V., Mylan Specialty L.P., Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Heather Bresch, Pfizer, Inc., King Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Meridian Medical Technologies, Inc.
Millions of Americans live with the risk that severe allergic reactions will cut short their lives. They require immediate access to a common lifesaving drug, epinephrine, which is delivered by injection. Due to a lack of meaningful competition in the market, most Americans with severe allergies turn to a simple, decades-old device to administer this injection: the EpiPen autoinjector.
The EpiPen is manufactured by two subsidiaries of Defendant Pfizer (Defendants King Pharmaceuticals and Meridian Medical Technologies) and sold in the United States by Defendant Mylan. Plaintiffs allege that since at least 2009 Defendants have carried out an illegal scheme to monopolize the market for epinephrine auto-injector devices. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants have combined and conspired to, among other actions:
- Enter into unlawful pay-for-delay settlement agreements with competitors to maintain Mylan’s monopoly;
- Misclassify the EpiPen under Medicaid’s Medical Drug Rebate Program to save hundreds of millions of dollars in rebates;
- Use their Medicaid savings to offer aggressive rebates and incentives to Pharmacy Benefit Managers, conditioned on excluding competitors from the market;
- Engage in deceptive marketing programs to restrain and prevent competition; and
- Assert and prosecute invalid patents to dissuade competitors from entering the market for epinephrine autoinjectors.
As a result, millions relying on this lifesaving device have paid exorbitant prices for EpiPens that are in no way tethered to or constrained by a competitive market. Unlawfully exercising its monopoly power, Mylan hiked the list price for two EpiPens to $608 in 2016, up from $100 in 2007—an increase of over 600%. These price hikes by unaccountable executives were the fruits of a multi-faceted, fraudulent scheme to obtain and maintain a monopoly in the market for epinephrine autoinjectors at the expense of American consumers and third-party payors.
Over the years, Mylan has already been caught and successfully pursued for predatory monopolization and charging unconscionable prices to consumers. Its unlawful acts have resulted not only in this suit, but also others as well as a 2017 Federal Trade Commission investigation of numerous possible federal law violations by Mylan in connection with the EpiPen.
Plaintiffs’ Consolidated Class Action Complaint seeks to recover damages and overpayments from at least 2009 through the present, as well as injunctive relief under the federal antitrust laws and various state consumer protection and antitrust laws. Plaintiffs also seek treble damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, and punitive damages.
On February 27, 2020, Judge Daniel D. Crabtree of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas issued a Memorandum and Order, certifying a nationwide RICO class and several state antitrust classes. Trial has been set for 2021.