In re Novartis and Par Antitrust Litigation

Filing 652

ORDER: This class action involves individual consumer and third-party payor plaintiffs (the "end-payor class action") who sued Defendants Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. and Novartis AG ("Novartis") and Defendant Par Pharmaceutic al, Inc. for an antitrust conspiracy that delayed generic competition with Exforge, a prescription drug, for a lengthened 12-month monopoly period after the patent expired. Exforge is a hypertension drug with amlodipine and valsartan as active ingre dients. On October 3, 2023, I approved the end-payor class action settlement in the amount of $30 million, minus Court-approved attorneys' fees and costs, service awards, taxes, and administrative fees. The net settlement fund was calculate d at $17,233,472.53. Under the plan of allocation, the individual consumer pool was calculated at $4,790,905.36, or 27.8% of the net settlement fund, with the remainder going to the third-party payor pool. The settlement adminis trator, Angeion Group, reported that 132,192 claims from individual consumers were received, but only 22,342 claims were allowed. ECF No. 648. The number seems disproportionally low. Angeion rep01ied that it mailed award payment checks to those el igible claimants in December 2023, with instructions lo deposit the checks within 120 days of issuance. Approximately 14,924 of those checks (totaling $2,131,046.76), a disproportionally high number, were rendered stale for failure to be deposi ted. ECF No. 651. An additional 1,884 checks (totaling $165,429.69) will become stale if not deposited by the end of June 2024. ECF No. 651. An inquiry by the Court is required to assure the integrity of the claims distribution process. The mat ter is respectfully referred to Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron, who may require such submissions and conduct such hearings as may be appropriate, and who shall deliver a Report and Recommendation to the Court. (Signed by Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein on 6/5/2024) (ks) Transmission to Finance Unit (Cashiers) for processing.

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