Bausch Health (NYSE/TSX:BHC), formerly known as Valeant Pharmaceuticals, has agreed to pay $300 million to settle allegations that the company paid rivals to keep a generic version of Glumetza off the market. In 2015, the Laval, Canada–based company increased the drug’s price by almost eight-fold.
The plaintiffs, drug distributor companies, in the class-action suit filed in 2019 has asked U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco to approve the settlement.
The settlement would be significant for pharmaceutical industry standards, although a handful of settlements have been larger. Most notably, fen-phen agreed to pay $3.75 billion in a settlement tied to the diet drug fen-phen in 1999.
The 2019 lawsuit was titled, “Re: Glumetza Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 19-cv-05822.”
Glumetza is an extended-release version of metformin hydrochloride, a popular type 2 diabetes treatment.
FDA approved Glumetza in 2005, which was initially marketed by Depomed (now Assertio) in conjunction with Santarus. Bausch Health eventually acquired Santarus.
Lupin Pharmaceuticals intended to launch a generic version of the drug in 2012, but the prior owners of the drug rights, Assertio and Santarus, allegedly paid to delay the generic until 2016.
Bausch Health’s stock was mostly unphased in trading today. BHC shares ticked down 0.59% to $28.45, while the S&P 500 index dipped 0.77%.
Bausch Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment.