The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reached a settlement with the biopharmaceutical corporation Amgen, paving the way for a $27.8 billion acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics. The settlement comes with some restrictions on Amgen’s future behavior but the acquisition may expose Amgen to legal claims currently being filed against Horizon.
In May, the FTC filed suit against Amgen, pausing its acquisition of Horizon while the claims were litigated. The FTC was primarily concerned that Amgen may use its influence to ensure favorable insurance coverage terms for Horizon’s two main drugs: the thyroid eye disease treatment Tepezza (teprotumumab), and the gout treatment Krystexxa (pegloticase). Under the terms of the settlement, Amgen will be prohibited from engaging in anti-competitive tactics including bundling current products with the new Horizon drugs, using product rebates or contract terms to disadvantage competing products, or buying competitors to the Horizon drugs without express permission from the FTC.
By acquiring Horizon, Amgen is also opening itself up to liability from the mounting number of Tepezza lawsuits in which plaintiffs allege they have suffered permanent hearing damage, including tinnitus or loss of hearing. Horizon’s labeling does not warn of these side effects despite evidence that Tepezza use has been associated with hearing loss. In clinical trials to approve the drug, 10% of Tepezza users reported hearing problems. However, a 2021 study presented at the annual Endocrine Society meeting found new or worsening hearing problems in 65% of patients who used Tepezza.
If Amgen acquires Horizon, as it seems likely that it will do with the FTC settlement’s finalization, then the corporation may find itself becoming a co-defendant in these Tepezza lawsuits in much the same way that Monsanto did after its acquisition of Bayer. This acquisition may also shape litigation of Tepezza cases as being purchased by another, larger company has been shown by recent rulings to decrease the likelihood that alternative settlement routes like the bankruptcy system can be used to resolve the cases.
If you have used Tepezza or other medical treatments and suffered unexpected injuries or side effects, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact MedTruth today for a free case review and begin your journey to justice.