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U.S. News

Abbott Settles Norvir Suit

July 19, 2004

On Friday, Abbott Laboratories agreed to fund HIV/AIDS testing, prevention and treatment programs for 10,000 people in the United States and Africa in order to settle two lawsuits over the pricing of its AIDS drug Norvir. Company spokesperson Jennifer Smoter did not reveal the financial terms of the settlement but said it does not alter Norvir's price and is not expected to affect corporate profits.

In December, when it quadrupled the price of Norvir, Abbott said it needed the additional money to fund research. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest US AIDS organization, sued Abbott, accusing it of taking unfair advantage of people who need Norvir to live. Norvir sales were about $100 million last year.

"Both parties realized there were more pressing issues facing people with HIV, and that's why we decided to work together," Smoter said.

AHF noted in a statement that the settlement does not resolve the debate over AIDS drug pricing. "Where we're at now is in the best interest of the people we serve and the people we will serve," said AHF general counsel Tom Myers. "We don't agree with the pricing, but we're not going to take any more steps against it."

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The consumer coalition Prescription Access Litigation has also sued Abbott over the issue; its case is not affected by the current settlement. In court papers, Abbott is seeking the dismissal of that suit, Smoter said.

AHF has another lawsuit pending against GlaxoSmithKline PLC, which it alleges misused the US patent system to get a monopoly on AZT.

Back to other news for July 19, 2004

Adapted from:
Chicago Tribune
07.17.04; Bloomberg News



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 

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