McDaniel Announces Settlement of Tricor Antitrust Lawsuit
LITTLE ROCK-Today, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced a $22.5 million multistate settlement with drug makers Abbott Laboratories, Fournier Industrie et Sante, and Laboratories Fournier. The settlement resolves antitrust claims involving the brand name drug, TriCor. The active ingredient in TriCor, fenofibrate, is used to lower triglycerides and improve cholesterol levels.
In 2008, 25 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia sued Abbott and Fournier in federal court in Delaware. Arkansas served as a lead state in the lawsuit, along with six other states. The lawsuit alleged that the companies made minor changes in the dosage of TriCor and engaged in other anticompetitive schemes to prevent generic manufacturers from competing with TriCor. As a result, government entities were allegedly forced to pay for the expensive brand name drug rather than cheaper generic versions. Abbott and Fournier deny any wrongdoing.
Under the settlement, certain government purchasers will be reimbursed for overcharges paid for Tricor. In Arkansas, the Department of Finance and Administration Employee Benefits Division, which provides prescription drug coverage to state employees and teachers, and the Department of Human Services, which administers the Medicaid program, will participate in the settlement. The two state agencies will receive a combined amount of approximately $330,000. The settlement will also reimburse the participating attorneys general for fees and costs.
"We are pleased with the settlement and hope this case will deter future attempts to harm competition in the pharmaceutical industry," said McDaniel. McDaniel also credited the work of Assistant Attorney General David Curran, who served as one of the lead attorneys in the handling of this case.
A settlement in a separate class-action lawsuit resolved the claims of most consumers and insurers. Information about the class-action settlement, including the procedure for filing a claim, can be obtained from the claims administrator's Web site at www.tricorsettlement.com or by calling 1-877-567-3014.