(Washington, DC) - Attorney General Linda Singer announced today a settlement with Warner Chilcott, a defendant in a multi-state antitrust action against the makers of the popular oral contraceptive product Ovcon. The lawsuit, joined by thirty-four states and the District of Columbia, charged Warner Chilcott and Barr Pharmaceuticals with antitrust violations that have prevented generic versions of Ovcon, from reaching the marketplace.
"I am pleased by the outcome of the multi-state antitrust effort," said Attorney General Singer. "It represents a significant victory for consumers in the District of Columbia and across the country." As part of the settlement, Warner Chilcott will pay $5.5 million to the District and the other litigating states.
During 2003, Barr publicly announced that it planned to have a generic version of Ovcon on the market by the end of that year. The lawsuit alleges that Warner Chilcott paid Barr $1 million in September 2003 for an option agreement designed to prevent Barr's generic product from coming to market. Under the terms of the alleged agreement, once Barr received FDA approval to market generic Ovcon®, Warner Chilcott had 90 days to pay Barr $19 million, after which Barr would refuse to bring the cheaper generic version to the market.
The lawsuit against Barr will continue moving forward in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.