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Abbott settles large part of US Tricor antitrust litigation

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

Abbott Laboratorieshas agreed to pay $184 million to settle antitrust litigation with direct purchasers (ie, retailers, wholesalers) and certain individual plaintiffs over formulation changes to the company's branded hypolipaemic Tricor (micronised fenofibrate), according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The plaintiffs, which included Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, alleged that, as generic companies were developing ANDAs for Tricor, Abbott responded by changing the formulation of the product, not to improve the product but simply to prevent generic formulations from becoming AB-rated for substitution with Tricor. Other similar suits filed by over a dozen state attorneys general remain outstanding (Scrip Online, April 2nd, 2008). Abbott denies wrongdoing, but said it settled to avoid the uncertainty of a trial outcome. Abbott has continuously maintained that all of the suits are without merit, and that it has provided patients with continuous improvements to Tricor – an approach that is perfectly legal.

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