BOSTON (AP) _ GlaxoSmithKline Corp. has agreed to pay a $75 million settlement over a lawsuit that alleged the company used illegal tactics to maintain its patent on an anti-inflammatory drug and keep a cheaper generic version off the market.
The agreement will create a $25 million pool to reimburse individuals for overcharges on the drug Relafen, and a $50 million pool for third-party payers, such as health insurers.
The settlement, which must be approved by a federal judge Boston, springs from a lawsuit brought last year by consumer group Prescription Access Litigation, whose director Alex Sugarman-Brozan called the deal ``a significant victory for consumers.''
``Cases such as this put the drug industry on notice that consumers are fed up with the manipulation of drug prices,'' he said.
GlaxoSmithKline did not admit wrongdoing in the proposed settlement.
PAL, a nationwide coalition of 93 consumer groups in 34 states, sued GlaxoSmithKline on behalf of two individuals and two consumer organizations, Health Care For All and Wisconsin Citizen Action.