AstraZeneca Settles Lawsuit On Price Fixing For $103M

NEW YORK (AP) -- AstraZeneca PLC on Friday agreed to pay $103 million to settle lawsuits that allege it inflated the price of its cancer drug Zoladex and its child asthma medication Pulmicort.

The lawsuits alleged that the British drug maker inflated the average wholesale price of the drugs, a benchmark rate used to determine how much the drugs cost for consumers, health plans and government programs.

AstraZeneca did not acknowledge any wrongdoing or liability, but it agreed to settle with two groups: consumers and third-party payers who paid at least part of the cost of the drugs for Medicare coinsurance, and consumers and third-party payers who paid cash or a copay for those drugs outside of Medicare.

The proposed settlement was announced by the law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro. The firm said AstraZeneca will pay $13 million to Massachusetts residents and $90 million to people in other states.

Spokesman Tony Jewell said AstraZeneca denies violating any laws.

"AstraZeneca has competed responsibly with respect to pricing and marketing of our medicines, and we firmly believe that we have acted at all times in accordance with the law," he said. "AstraZeneca is committed to adhering to all government laws and regulations concerning drug pricing, including the proper reporting of drug pricing as required by law."

In aftermarket trading, AstraZeneca shares rose a penny to $45.50. During the day they fell 30 cents to $45.49.

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