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Endo, Teva, Teikoku to settle antitrust cases over pain drug Lidoderm

Endo International plc, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Teikoku Seiyaku Co. Ltd. agreed to pay about $270.8 million to resolve claims that the companies broke antitrust laws by using pay-for-delay settlements to block access to generic versions of Lidoderm, Reuters reported.

Lidoderm is used to relieve pain associated with a complication of shingles known as post-herpetic neuralgia, which is caused by the chickenpox virus.

In 2012, Dublin-based Endo and Japan-based Teikoku reached a settlement with drugmaker Watson Pharmaceuticals, whose generic business is owned by Teva, to settle a patent infringement case related to Lidoderm.

Teikoku manufactures Lidoderm for Endo for the U.S. market.

Under the settlement, Watson agreed to delay the launch of Lidoderm's generic version until 2013, two years before Endo's patent expired.

In exchange, Watson received $96 million in free product and an affirmation from Endo that it would not launch Lidoderm's generic medicine for about eight months until Watson began selling its own generic version of the drug.

The accords were disclosed in filings with the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California.

The lawsuit brought by consumers and insurers of Lidoderm alleged that the actions of the companies prevented cheaper versions of Lidoderm from entering the market.

Endo will pay about $100 million, Israel-based Teva will pay about $112 million and Teikoku will pay about $58.75 million to settle the claims, which are subject to court approval.

In a response to Reuters, Endo said the settlement was "a significant milestone in Endo's multi-year turnaround plan." Teva said it was in its best interests to resolve the claims, Reuters said.