Bristol-Myers Squibb HIV cART drugs antitrust $10.8 million class action settlement

Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed to pay $10.8 million to resolve claims it planned with other drugmakers to overcharge HIV drugs.

The settlement benefits individuals or entities who purchased Atripla, Complera, Evotaz, Reyataz, Sustiva, Stribild, Truvada, or any of their generic equivalents directly from manufacturers between October 6, 2016 and October 19, 2021.

Combination antiretroviral therapy, or Cart, drugs use a combination of anti-HIV drugs to control HIV infections. These drugs prevent the virus from replicating in the body, allowing virus numbers to drop to undetectable levels. Medications used for cART include Atripla, Complera, Evotaz, Reyataz, Sustiva, Stribild, Truvada and their generic equivalents.

According to an antitrust class action lawsuit, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Gilead Sciences conspired to raise the price of cART drugs. The companies would have worked together to extend their drug patents and remove generic competitors, allowing them to charge supracompetitive prices.

The antitrust class action claims that these actions resulted in significant financial damages to direct purchasers who were forced to pay a much higher price for the cART HIV drugs than they would have in a healthy market.

Bristol-Myers Squibb has not admitted any wrongdoing, but has agreed to resolve those allegations with a $10.8 million class action settlement. The company agreed to pay an additional $200,000 for settlement notice costs.

This settlement does not resolve the remaining claims against Gilead Sciences.

Under the terms of the cART HIV Drug Settlement, group members may receive a cash payment based on the number of eligible purchases made during the group period.

Purchases of branded drugs will receive a greater weight than those of generic drugs. The unit volume will also play a role in the distribution of payments. Exact payouts will vary, with no estimate available.

If there are funds left in the settlement, class members may receive a second distribution. However, if the remaining funds do not justify a second distribution of payment, they will be blocked for any further disbursement, for example, if Gilead settles claims against it.

In addition to funding the settlement payments, Bristol-Myers Squibb has agreed to waive enforcement of part of its Evotaz license agreement with Gilead. This means that Gilead may authorize a third party to market or license a combination medicine containing Gilead’s Cobicistat and Reyataz, or generic atazanavir. However, Gilead is not required to do so.

The exclusion and objection deadline is October 6, 2022.

The final approval hearing for the Bristol-Myers Squibb HIV drug settlement is scheduled for November 17, 2022.

In order to receive a settlement payment, Class Members must submit a valid Claim Form by October 28, 2022.