Pharmaceutical and medical products maker Abbott Laboratories Inc. has announced settlements totaling about $184 million for a federal court case involving class action claims over its popular cholesterol medication TriCor.
The settlement resolves allegations by drug wholesalers and generic drugmakers that Abbott sought to block competition for cheaper, generic versions of its blockbuster drug TriCor. The plaintiffs, which included generic firm Teva Pharmaceuticals, said Abbott made minor changes to TriCor's formulation to prevent generic versions from being launched, allowing the company to charge monopoly prices.
A similar lawsuit brought by more than a dozen state governments is awaiting trial in the same U.S. District Court in Wilmington. A company spokesman said Thursday's announcement resolves the bulk of the litigation connected with Tricor. The company did not admit to any wrongdoing.
"We continue to believe our actions were lawful and we reached these settlements to avoid the uncertainty of a trial outcome," an Abbott spokesperson said. The company said in a brief statement it would treat the settlement payments as a specified item in the fourth quarter.
TriCor accounted for more than $1 billion of Abbott's sales last year. Abbott had total revenue of $25.9 billion in 2007.