The settlements resolve alleged direct purchaser claims brought by nine large chainstore and grocery store pharmacies and indirect purchaser claims brought by state attorneys general and by a class of consumers and third party payors (the “indirect purchaser class”). The state attorneys general and indirect purchaser class settlement is subject to certain conditions including approval by the Federal District Court of New Jersey (United States).
The lawsuits alleged that the Company’s conduct involving a patent relating to the use of Remeron in combination with so-called SSRIs delayed the market introduction of generic mirtazapine and violated the antitrust laws. Akzo Nobel continues to believe that its actions in obtaining and enforcing its intellectual property rights were appropriate. However, given the costs and risks of defending these actions, the Company took the opportunity to resolve these matters. In April, Akzo Nobel announced that it had settled the claims brought by generic manufacturers.
A class action brought by other direct purchasers remains pending in the Federal District Court of New Jersey. A motion to certify the class has not yet been ruled upon. No trial date has been set. The Company will continue to defend this remaining claim vigorously.