$120 million aggregate settlement will benefit hospitals, insurers and companies that pay for their employees’ healthcare costs, and uninsured people affected by the pharma companies’ alleged anticompetitive conduct
Lieff Cabraser is proud to announce that Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sandoz Inc. have agreed to settlements totaling $120 million in the antitrust class action about enoxaparin, a life-saving drug. The settlement will compensate hospitals, insurers, companies that pay for their employees’ healthcare costs, and uninsured people in Tennessee and 29 other jurisdictions who allegedly overpaid for Lovenox® or generic enoxaparin. The named plaintiffs in the class action are Nashville General Hospital, a nonprofit hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, and DC 37, a health plan for hundreds of thousands of public-sector union members in New York.
The lawsuit alleged that Momenta and Sandoz monopolized the sale of generic enoxaparin, which prevents blood clots, by not disclosing a patented testing protocol and then using the patent to prevent a generic competitor from coming to market. By blocking a lower-priced competitor, the defendants could price their own generic product just under the price of Lovenox, the branded version of the drug, reaping hundreds of millions in profits.
The litigation was hard fought for more than four years. The settlement was reached with the assistance of a mediator shortly before trial, which was set to begin January 7, 2020.
“This is a superb result for Nashville General Hospital and the plaintiff class in the Enoxaparin antitrust case,” stated Lieff Cabraser partner Brendan Glackin, lead trial counsel for the named plaintiffs and the class.
“The courageous efforts of the class representatives, Nashville General Hospital and DC 37, will help improve access to health care for patients in Tennessee and across the country,” explained Lieff Cabraser partner Mark Chalos, managing partner of Lieff Cabraser’s Nashville office. “We are honored to represent Nashville General Hospital, DC 37, and the Class.”
“As our safety net hospital, Nashville General Hospital serves an important role in our community,” said Nashville Mayor John Cooper. “We are proud of the leadership Nashville General Hospital has shown in fighting against inflated drug prices.”
“Our core values at Nashville General Hospital include honesty, integrity, and accountability, said Nashville General Hospital Chief Executive Officer Dr. Joseph Webb. “By fighting against these improper overcharges for life-saving medicine, we aimed to make medications more affordable for patients in our community and around the country.”
“Defendants’ scheme hurt workers everywhere by causing their health plans to pay an artificially inflated price for this life saving drug,” said Henry Garrido, DC 37’s Executive Director. “DC 37 is proud to have played a key role in holding accountable the wrongdoers behind this rip-off.”
The class in this case includes:
Hospitals, third-party payors, and people without insurance who indirectly purchased, paid for, and/or reimbursed some or all of the purchase price for, generic enoxaparin or Lovenox®, in Arizona, Arkansas, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, from September 21, 2011, through September 30, 2015 (the “Damages Class Period”), for the purpose of personal consumption by themselves, their families, or their members, employees, insureds, participants, patients, beneficiaries or anyone else. With respect to third-party payors and people without insurance, the Damages Class only includes those, described above, who purchased, paid for, and/or reimbursed some or all of the purchase price for, generic enoxaparin or Lovenox® from a pharmacy.
Those excluded from the class include defendants themselves; some federal and state governmental agencies; payors that received 100% reimbursement on all transactions such as fully insured health plans; and third-party payors and those without insurance who purchased only branded Lovenox from a pharmacy or retail outlet.
Although the amount Nashville General Hospital and DC 37 will receive will not be finally determined until all eligible claims have been received, they are expected to recover a significant portion of their damages. They will also each seek an additional amount from the settlement fund for their service as class representatives. Lieff Cabraser represented Nashville General and DC 37 on a purely contingent basis, meaning no taxpayer or plan funds were expended on the case.
The plaintiffs’ Motion to Direct Notice, which seeks preliminary approval of the settlement, was filed with the Court on Friday, December 20th. Further information and details on the distribution of the settlement will be provided after the settlement receives preliminary court approval.
About Nashville General Hospital
Nashville General Hospital has provided quality healthcare to the Nashville community for over 129 years. Its mission is to improve the health and wellness of Nashville by providing equitable access to coordinated patient-centered care, supporting tomorrow’s caregivers, and translating science into clinical practice.
Nashville General Hospital provides emergency care 24/7, as well as outpatient services including imaging, laboratory, physical therapy, and an oncology infusion suite. Nashville General Hospital’s ambulatory division, The Nashville Healthcare Center, provides an array of outpatient clinic services for preventive care, chronic illness care, and specialty care.
About DC 37
District Council 37 is New York City’s largest public employee union, with 125,000 members and 50,000 retirees.
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
San Francisco, California
Mark P. Chalos
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP