Allergan has tentatively agreed to settle more than 500 testosterone replacement therapy lawsuits. Men who filed the lawsuits blame the company’s drug Androderm for heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and sudden death.
U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly entered an order June 28. It disclosed the proposed settlement.
Kennelly is presiding over multidistrict litigation (MDL) involving testosterone replacement therapy drugs. He put all the pending Androderm cases on hold while the details are worked out.
The Androderm cases actually name Actavis as the defendant. Allergan took over Actavis in 2014.
Allergan’s most recent quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission said there were about 525 pending actions involving Androderm in the testosterone MDL.
Allergan joins Eli Lilly and Co. and Endo’s Auxilium Pharmaceuticals in tentatively settling their testosterone replacement therapy cases in the MDL.
Eli Lilly faces about 400 lawsuits involving the drug Axiron. Endo faces about 1,300 lawsuits involving Testim.
Another company, AbbVie, still faces about 4,300 lawsuits in the MDL over its testosterone replacement drug, AndroGel.
Some AndroGel trials ended in multimillion-dollar verdicts for patients who claimed testosterone therapy side effects. Others ended in victories for AbbVie.
Last week, a court ordered AbbVie and Partner Besins Healthcare Inc. to pay $448 million to consumers who were overcharged for AndroGel. The award is the largest ever in a litigated Federal Trade Commission antitrust case.
The FTC had sued AbbVie in 2014. The federal government accused AbbVie of illegally blocking consumers’ access to lower-cost versions of AndroGel. The FTC said AbbVie filed baseless patent infringement lawsuits against potential generic competitors.
A federal judge in Pennsylvania sided with the FTC.
“This decision is a double victory, both for patients who rely on Androgel and for competition more broadly,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons in a statement. “It sends a clear signal that pharmaceutical companies can’t use baseless litigation to forestall competition from low-cost generics.”
AbbVie says it plans to appeal the judgment.
“We are disappointed by the ruling. We believe our conduct was lawful and the damages award is improper. We intend to appeal,” said an AbbVie spokeswoman, Toni Haubert, in a statement to MarketWatch.
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