(Phoenix, Ariz. – Feb. 25, 2008) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced the settlement of an antitrust lawsuit against Barr Pharmaceuticals (“Barr”) for $5.9 million. The settlement resolves allegations that the company violated antitrust laws by preventing generic versions of Ovcon®, a prescription oral contraceptive, from reaching the marketplace. Goddard joined 33 other states and the District of Columbia in the agreement.
Arizona's share of the settlement money is approximately $140,000. About $14,000 will be used to reimburse attorneys' fees and costs associated with the litigation. The rest of the money will be deposited in the State's General Fund.
“I will continue to pursue legal action against drug companies that seek to increase their profits at the expense of the free market,” Goddard said. “Anti-competitive behavior will not be tolerated.”
In 2005, the states alleged in their lawsuit that Warner Chilcott, which markets Ovcon, paid Barr $20 million to keep a generic version of the contraceptive off the market. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The companies allegedly reached their agreement to not compete in 2003, after Barr announced that it planned to bring a generic version of Ovcon to market.
In addition to paying the states $5.9 million for civil penalties, attorneys’ fees and costs, Barr agreed that it would not enter into such agreements in the future. The states last year settled their claims against Warner Chilcott for $5.5 million.