The second-largest drugmaker in the UK AstraZeneca Plc, today agreed to pay $103 million to settle claims for inflating prices for some of its wholesale drugs in the US although it claims that its pricing system is perfectly legal.
Law firm Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP had filed a class-action lawsuit in 2002 in the District Court of Massachusetts alleging that the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker had sold its Zoladex breast cancer and Pulmicort Respules asthma drugs at huge discounts to physicians compared to the wholesale price paid by consumers, pension funds and others.
Physicians were then secretly encouraged by AstraZeneca to claim full reimbursement from insurers at wholesale prices.
Although denying that it had done nothing wrong, AstraZeneca said that it wants to resolve the issue quickly and agreed to pay $13 million to consumers and third-party payers in Massachusetts and $90 million to other states.
AstraZeneca said that the settlement is subject to court approval.