Novartis To Pay $245 Mln To Settle Lawsuits Over Exforge Generics

Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG agreed to pay $245 million to settle an antitrust litigation for allegedly attempting to delay the launch of generic versions of its Exforge blood-pressure medicine in the United States.

Reports said, citing an emailed statement, that the settlements require approval by a federal judge in Manhattan. Once approved, it will resolve all outstanding claims against Novartis and Endo International Plc's Par Pharmaceutical unit regarding Exforge, which treats hypertension to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of strokes.

The litigation relates to a 2011 licensing agreement between Novartis and Par unit, who were accused of entering an illegal reverse payment deal to delay launches of less expensive, generic versions of Exforge.

The class action was brought in 2018 by direct purchasers, indirect purchasers and retailers including CVS Health Corp, Kroger Co., Rite Aid Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., among others.

As per the lawsuit, Par allegedly agreed not to launch an Exforge generic for two years after the expiration of one of Novartis's patents. Further, Novartis agreed not to compete with Par by launching its own Exforge generic during the 180-day exclusivity period following Par's entry into the market.

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