Despite Gilead Sciences and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries emerging victorious in a high-stakes antitrust trial related to HIV drugs earlier this year, Gilead is taking steps to resolve a significant portion of the ongoing legal battle.
In a recent development, a federal judge in California has granted preliminary approval to a proposed settlement between Gilead and direct purchasers of its HIV medications Truvada and Atripla. The proposed settlement, subject to final approval, involves Gilead agreeing to pay $246.75 million to companies that bought these drugs between February 2018 and November 2022.
The protracted legal dispute revolves around allegations of anticompetitive practices involving Gilead and Teva, a major generics manufacturer. Plaintiffs began their legal action in 2019, asserting that patent settlements between the two companies for drugs like Viread, Truvada, and Atripla delayed the availability of generic versions, resulting in significant financial losses running into billions of dollars.
Also Read: Gilead And Teva Were Acquitted In A $3.6 Billion Trial Involving Alleged ‘Pay-For-Delay’ Schemes
This latest order follows Gilead and Teva’s earlier successful defense against a potentially much larger penalty. In late June, a jury ruled in favor of the pharmaceutical companies, rejecting the plaintiffs’ claim for $3.6 billion in damages. The jury determined that a patent agreement reached in 2014 between Gilead and Teva did not violate antitrust laws.
Following this outcome, KPH Health Services, representing drug purchasers, pursued a class-action settlement with Gilead, which has now received preliminary approval according to Courthouse News Service.
According to an analysis by a legal expert cited in the Monday order issued by US District Judge Edward Chen, the direct purchasers’ estimated damages resulting from the alleged anticompetitive scheme exceeded $2 billion. While the proposed settlement covers only about 12% of these claimed damages, Judge Chen noted that the absolute value of the settlement fund, at $246.75 million, remains significant.
It’s important to note that Gilead, with this preliminary settlement, has not admitted to any liability in the case. A final approval hearing is scheduled for January.
This development signifies a significant step toward potential resolution in a complex legal battle that has spanned several years, with Gilead taking proactive measures to address the claims brought against it by direct purchasers of its HIV medications.