Brand-Name Prescription Drug Indirect Purchaser Actions

Summary of Case and Settlement:

Coordinated antitrust actions against the major pharmaceutical manufacturers in ten states and the District of Columbia. The actions were brought under state law on behalf of indirect purchaser consumers who obtained brand name prescription drugs from retail pharmacies. In 1998, the parties agreed to a multistate settlement in the amount of $64.3 million, which was allocated among the actions. In approving state-specific settlements, the courts were highly complementary of the performance of counsel. In approving the Wisconsin Settlement, for example, Judge Moria G. Krueger commented that “this Court, in particular, has been helped along every step of the way by some outstanding lawyering and I believe that applies to both sides. … You can hardly say that there’s been anything but five star attorneys involved in this case”. Scholfield v. Abbott Laboratories, No. 96 CV 0460, Transcript of Hearing at 31 & 33 (Cir. Ct., Dane Co., Wisc., Oct. 5, 1998). See also McLaughlin v. Abbott Laboratories, No. CV 95-0628, Transcript of Proceedings at 28 (Super. Ct., Yavapai County, Oct. 28, 1998) (“I think the quality of counsel is excellent.”). Reported decisions include: Goda v Abbott Labs, 1997-1 Trade Cas. (CCH) ¶71,730 (Superior Court D.C., Feb 3, 1997) (granting class certification); In re Brand Name Prescription Drugs Antitrust Litig. (Holdren, Yasbin, Meyers), 1998-1 Trade Cas. (CCH) ¶72,140 (N.D. Ill., Feb. 26, 1998) (remanding three actions to state courts).

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