More Ignoble, But Ancient, Schering-Plough History Put To Rest… 2001 K-Dur® Antitrust Suit Settles.

The patent on this tiny coated crystal was first granted in September of 1989. It is, at base, simply a potassium chloride crystal, coated to dissolve slowly in the gut. While I do admire the 1980s era ingenuity it took to create that long-ago drug, nearly 27 years seems more than long enough to recoup the R&D, plus book a massive profit stream.

And so, K-Dur® it seems — in what is actually a smallish settlement for Kenilworth to absorb — has finally met its “pay for delay” end-game. The end comes in the form of a $60 million payment, in a 16 plus year old federal antitrust class action (as a successor to a legacy S-P class action).

Here is Reuters on it all, tonight:

. . . .The settlement, disclosed in papers filed in federal court in Newark, New Jersey on Monday, came in a class action filed in 2001 arising out of a settlement in patent litigation between Upsher-Smith and Schering-Plough Corp, now owned by Merck.

That patent deal, plaintiffs in the antitrust class action said, was an example of a “pay-for-delay” settlement, in which brand-name drug makers pay generic companies to keep their products off the market for a longer period.

Both companies continued to deny wrongdoing as part of the settlement, according to court papers. The settlement is subject to court approval.

Neither Merck nor Upsher-Smith immediately responded to requests for comment on Tuesday. . . .

Now you know. There are some things that I’ve. . . simply stopped doing. I long ago (like late May 2015) stopped caring — stopped looking in. . . on this federal court file. So I learned of yesterday’s settlement — in today’s papers. So it goes. And I am decidedly good with it all. A wide smile. . . with much excitement ahead, this weekend, indeed. So. . . whatever, S-P (and Mr. Prep. H.). . . .

नमस्ते.

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