A federal judge signed off on a $15 million settlement to close out claims of anticompetitive behavior by Allergan and its subsidiary Warner Chilcott.
Under the settlement, direct purchasers of ulcerative colitis drugs Asacol HD or Delizicol since July 31, 2013, will receive $15 million. The purchasers accused Warner Chilcott of “product hopping” in its decision to remove Asacol from the market ahead of its patent’s expiration. Warner Chilcott claimed the move was in response to FDA guidance warning of risks from dibutyl phthalate, a substance present in Asacol.
Last year, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled that the FDA guidance was nonbinding and Warner Chilcott had options beyond pulling the product entirely, backing up the purchasers’ allegations that the company had ulterior motives for the decision. Warner Chilcott claimed it replaced the product with Delzicol because the new drug’s patent innovation was inherently valuable to the public.