DeWine announces settlement with drug company

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WYTV) – Ohio will recover about $4 million in a settlement with Cephalon over allegations that the biopharmaceutical company engaged in anti-competitive conduct that delayed market entry of Provigil, a prescription drug used to promote wakefulness and treat sleep disorders.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, along with 48 other attorneys general, announced the $125 million settlement on Thursday. Ohio’s settlement includes an estimated $1.57 million for consumers who bought Provigil between 2006 and 2012, $1.43 million for state entities that bought the drug and $1 million to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

“We worked hard to secure millions of dollars for Ohio in this case,” Attorney General DeWine said. “This is money that otherwise would not have been available for Ohio consumers or for the state. We hope the recovery will help individual Ohioans and agencies that serve them.”

The settlement ends a multi-state investigation led by Ohio, New York, Vermont, Indiana, and Minnesota.

DeWine said generic versions of Provigil were expected to launch by early 2006, but before they did, Cephalon secured an additional patent (which a court later deemed invalid and unenforceable). Cephalon also filed patent infringement lawsuits against potential generic competitors and settled those lawsuits by paying the competitors to delay selling their generic versions of Provigil until at least April 2012, he said. The delayed entry caused consumers and state entities to pay more for the drug than they would have if generic versions had launched by 2006.

The settlement is subject to court review. If the court approves the settlement, eligible consumers will be notified and will have an opportunity to participate in, object to, or opt out of the settlement.

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