Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Blue Cross) of Minnesota announced a settlement in its class action lawsuit against Vyera Pharmaceuticals; its parent company, Phoenixus AG; and two former executives, Martin Shkreli and Kevin Mulleady, according to a press release.
The complaint, which was filed by Blue Cross on behalf of other third-party payers across the country last year, alleges that Vyera intentionally monopolized the pharmaceutical market for Daraprim – a once-affordable, lifesaving drug for the treatment of toxoplasmosis – by illegally limiting generic competition. Under the direction of Shkreli and Mulleady, the per-pill price for Daraprim went from $17.50 to $750 – an increase of more than 4,000 percent.
According to the settlement agreement, Vyera and Phoenixus must abandon their allegedly anticompetitive practices and pay up to $28 million to a proposed class of third-party payers that purchased Daraprim. The settlement also requires Shkreli to abide by the injunctive relief entered against him in a related lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission and several states, where the court recently ordered Shkreli to be banned from the pharmaceutical industry for life.
The settlement is pending approval with the federal district court in the Southern District of New York. Blue Cross is represented in this lawsuit by Robins Kaplan LLP.