In an unusual move, Celgene backed out of a $55 million settlement to clear accusations of anticompetitive behavior over its cancer treatments Revlimid and Thalomid, attorneys for the plaintiffs announced.
The class-action suit in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey alleged that the company illegally blocked generic versions of the cancer treatments by refusing to sell samples to generic manufacturers. Celgene was also accused of fraudulently obtaining patents to obstruct generic competition and filing litigation against generic drugmakers to stop their proposed generics from reaching the market.
The parties agreed to the $55 million settlement in July 2019, including a provision that allowed the drugmaker to rescind the agreement if some plaintiffs decided to pursue their own claims.
The decision leaves the drugmaker to deal with more than 9,000 plaintiffs who would have otherwise ended their claims in the settlement. An attorney for the plaintiffs, Frank Schirripa of Hach Rose Schirripa & Cheverie, said he is “astounded” that Celgene “chose to return to a world in which it faces exposure of more than $3 billion.”