PHARMACEUTICALS

Approval is sought for Allergan settlement

Purchasers of Allergan’s Namenda asked a federal judge Tuesday to approve a $750 million settlement of claims that the drugmaker conspired to keep generic versions of the Alzheimer’s medication off the market.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs said the preliminary settlement, which requires a judge’s approval, would be the largest amount paid by one defendant to resolve a class-action lawsuit brought by “direct purchasers” under the federal Hatch-Waxman antitrust law, which encourages the manufacture of generic drugs.

The purchasers accused Allergan’s Forest Laboratories unit of paying a rival to delay selling generic Namenda IR and encouraging them to switch to an extended-release medication, Namenda XR, before generic Namenda IR became available.

Allergan denied wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement, which its attorneys signed Dec. 20.

Namenda treats moderate to severe dementia in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Sales of generic Namenda IR began in July 2015 and generic Namenda XR in March 2018, Allergan has said.

The settlement covers those in the United States who purchased Namenda IR, Namenda XR or generic Namenda IR directly from Forest, Actavis or Allergan from June 2012 to September 2015.

— Reuters

TECHNOLOGY

Sony rushes to meet image sensor demand

Sony is working around the clock to manufacture its in-demand image sensors, but even a 24-hour operation hasn’t been enough.

For a second straight year, the Japanese company will run its chip factories constantly through the holidays to try to keep up with demand for sensors used in mobile phone cameras, according to Terushi Shimizu, the head of Sony’s semiconductor unit. The electronics giant is more than doubling its capital spending on the business to $2.6 billion this fiscal year and is building a new plant in Nagasaki.

It’s now common to see three lenses on the back of a phone as manufacturers lean on camera specs to nudge customers into upgrading. Semiconductors are Sony’s most profitable business after the PlayStation.

— Bloomberg News

Also in Business

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait agreed to resume oil production in a shared border region more than four years after halting output. The agreement allows "the resumption of oil production from the joint fields," the Saudi Energy Ministry said on Twitter. The oil fields at what is known as the neutral zone can produce as much as 500,000 barrels a day — more than each of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' three smallest members pumped last month.

— From news services