Pfizer Agrees to Pay $93 Million to Settle Lipitor Antitrust Lawsuit Despite Calling Allegations ‘Factual and Legally Without Merits’ – Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)

Pfizer Inc PFE agreed to pay $93 million to settle an antitrust lawsuit related to its cholesterol drug Lipitor.

What happened: The lawsuit, filed by wholesale drug distributors, accused Pfizer of colluding with India Ranbaxy Laboratories to delay the sale of cheaper, generic versions of Lipitor, Reuters reported.

The settlement, subject to judge approval, comes after more than a decade of legal battles. Pfizer, while not admitting liability, defined the accusations as “unfounded in fact and in law”.

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The distributors’ lawsuit against Ranbaxy will continue despite the settlement. The lawsuit alleges that Pfizer fraudulently extended its patent rights to Lipitor by paying Ranbaxy to delay the introduction of a generic version and initiating sham litigation over the drug.

Sun Pharmawhich acquired Ranbaxy in 2015, did not immediately respond to Benzinga’s request for comment.

Because matter: Lipitor, introduced by Pfizer in 1997, generated more than $130 billion in sales during its first 14 years on the market. According to plaintiffs’ attorneys, the settlement provides “immediate financial relief” to class members and avoids the risk of continued litigation, potential appeals and failure to recover.

This isn’t the first time Pfizer has been involved in legal disputes. In 2022 the company, together with Sanofi, saw several lawsuits associated with Zantac dismissed, providing them with relief. However, in 2023, Pfizer was hit with an additional patent infringement lawsuit for its COVID-19 shots, and in 2023, a small biotech company sued Pfizer for its COVID-19 vaccine technology -19, adding to the company’s legal woes.

Additionally, in 2023, the Texas Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Pfizer, alleging that the company misled the public about the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine. These legal challenges have put Pfizer under intense scrutiny, and the recent settlement adds to the company’s legal bills.

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