September 14, 2020

A Massachusetts federal judge has given her initial approval of a $19.9 million settlement deal between pharmaceutical company Actavis and the direct purchaser class in a lawsuit that accused the company, along with fellow pharma company Shire, of conspiring to delay sales of a generic version of the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medication Intuniv.

In a Friday order, U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs gave a preliminary greenlight for Actavis to pay $19.9 million to the class of direct purchasers in exchange for the class permanently tossing the lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company.

Friday's approval stayed all proceedings in litigation between the class and Actavis until an early December fairness hearing, where the settlement agreement would undergo "further consideration" for its final approval, the judge wrote.

Judge Burroughs' order comes after Actavis' lawyers notified the court in mid-August that it struck a deal with the direct purchaser class — although they noted that separate claims from a group of indirect purchasers remained unresolved, as the indirect purchasers' appeal to the First Circuit against the denial of its class certification was still pending. They also said the direct purchaser class' claims against Shire had not been resolved.

In her Friday order, the judge confirmed that the $19.9 million settlement deal did not include Shire, and litigation against the company would proceed.

Direct and indirect purchasers of Intuniv claimed a generic option of the ADHD drug was delayed because of a deal Actavis struck with Shire. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave Actavis approval to launch the generic in October 2012, but an Intuniv generic did not come to market until December 2014.

Under the alleged agreement, Shire would not launch its Intuniv generic during Actavis' 180-day generic exclusivity period once it launched its own generic. In exchange, Actavis agreed to delay its generic launch and give Shire 25% of its profits earned during its exclusivity period — which the purchasers claim is an illegal reverse payment.

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The direct purchasers are represented by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, Faruqi & Faruqi LLP, Berger Montague, Radice Law Firm, Nussbaum Law Group PC, Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check LLP, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and Sperling & Slater PC.

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