News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Celgene backs out of $55M class action settlement

Health Industry Hub | January 14, 2020 |
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Celgene has backed out of a $55 million settlement with patients and payers over allegations it illegally blocked competition to multiple myeloma medications Thalomid (thalidomide) and Revlimid (lenalidomide).

Celgene, now part of Bristol-Myers Squibb, originally agreed to the deal in July and backed out on December 2019. With the decision, the company will go back to fighting claims from thousands of patients and payers, who allege billions in damages.

When the sides agreed to the $55 million deal, the agreement included the option for Celgene to back out if certain plaintiffs didn’t opt in. More than 8,000 patients and 800 payers opted in to the original settlement. But almost 100 plaintiffs opted out in order to bring their own lawsuits, and Celgene rescinded the agreement based on those opt-outs.

The case is based on allegations that Celgene refused to sell samples of Thalomid and Revlimid to deter potential generic development and restricted the distribution of Thalomid’s active ingredient. Additionally, the company allegedly filed sham patent challenges as another way to block competition.

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A BMS spokesperson said Celgene “exercised its right to terminate the settlement in light of the fact that numerous large third party payors who were members of the settlement class refused to release their potential claims and participate in the settlement.”

One week after last year’s $55 million settlement, Celgene inked a $62 million settlement with Mylan over similar allegations.  

Revlimid (lenalidomide) is among the world’s best-selling medicines and was a key part of Bristol-Myers’ $74 billion buyout offer.

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