Global Processing

Barr settles Novartis suit

June 14, 2006
The Associated Press reports that drug maker Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. has agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle a lawsuit with a unit of Novartis, and said the payout will lower profit for the June quarter by 13 cents per share. The litigation stems from a suit Invamed Inc. and Apothecon Inc. filed in 1998 charging Barr with violating antitrust laws and illegally blocking access to the raw material source for warfarin sodium, a drug that prevents blood clots. An appeals court in October 2004 reversed a lower court''s ruling and found the two plaintiffs raised issues of material fact on their antitrust claims. The trial was scheduled to start last Monday. Both Invamed and Apothecon have been acquired by Swiss drug maker Novartis AG since they filed the suit. Barr said it thought the lawsuit was without merit, but decided to settle to avoid further expense. Barr said it would record a one-time payment of $22.5 million for the quarter ending June 30.