According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 32 million people in the U.S. have food allergies — including 5.6 million children — and another 9.2 children have skin allergies. On top of that, 10% of the world’s population may suffer severe drug reactions. All of these people would benefit from access to an Epinephrine Auto-Injector, more commonly known as an EpiPen, which is the only way of preventing deaths through anaphylaxis. However, when the cost of an EpiPen rose from $100 to $600 in under 10 years, it became too expensive for many people.
Consumers filed a class-action lawsuit claiming that Pfizer, the drugmaker, and Mylan, the company that markets the emergency allergy treatment, created a monopoly by issuing large rebates to insurers and Medicaid plans that refused to cover competing medications.
Although the company denies any liability in the case, it has agreed to pay $345 million to resolve claims by consumers who say they overpaid for EpiPens. It’s estimated at least 7 million customers may be affected by the antitrust lawsuit.
“Pfizer has reached an agreement to fully resolve plaintiffs’ class action claims against Pfizer, which is subject to court approval,” a company spokesperson told The Hill in a statement, “Pfizer denies any wrongdoing and continues to believe that its actions were appropriate. This resolution reflects a desire by the Company to avoid the distraction of continued litigation and focus on breakthroughs that change patients’ lives.”
The current settlement does not resolve claims against other defendants in the class action lawsuit; that trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. 24, 2022. However, class members can file a claim for the Pfizer settlement now through Nov. 12, 2021.
To be eligible to file a claim, you must have paid or provided reimbursement for some or all of the purchase price of branded or authorized generic EpiPens to be used by yourself, family members or other beneficiaries between Aug. 24, 2011, and Nov. 1, 2020.
The potential award varies because attorneys’ fees and other expenses will be paid from the $345 million settlement fund, and there will be two settlement fund pools — one for individual consumers and one for third-party payers.
While you don’t need any documentation to file a claim, the settlement administrator may ask for additional proof, such as itemized receipts, credit card statements, pharmacy records or copies of prescriptions.