Teva's Barr Labs settles Cipro antitrust case for $225 million

A sign bearing the logo of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is seen in its Jerusalem oral solid dosage plant (OSD) December 21, 2011. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

(Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd’s Barr Laboratories Inc has reached a $225 million settlement in an antitrust class action that accused the drugmaker of keeping a generic version of Bayer AG’s antibiotic Cipro off the market, court documents showed.

The case, which began in 2000 in California state court, centers on a series of settlements in the late 1990s under which Bayer allegedly paid Barr Pharmaceuticals, since bought by Teva, $398 million not to market Cipro's generic version. Bayer had earlier sued Barr claiming that generic Cipro would infringe a Bayer patent.

The plaintiffs, a group of non-profits and individuals in California who bought Cipro, claimed that the settlement drove up the price of the drug and violated California’s antitrust law and the Cartwright Act.

In December, Teva Pharmaceutical agreed to pay more than $519 million to settle U.S. criminal and civil allegations that the company bribed overseas officials to gain business for its medications.

The settlement requires an approval from California’s highest court.

Reporting by Komal Khettry in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri