Generics of Wellbutrin have been judged inferior to the name-brand and thus will pay a national settlement. The popular antidepressants alternatives use the same active drug, Bupropion hydrochloride, but uses an inferior release technology, releasing the drug into the system in one quick dump rathar than the more effectively slow chemical release of brand name Wellbtrin. The total number of class members may be as many as 2.24 million people.
$3.2 million have been awarded in attorney fees, $1.3 million in class counsel costs, amidst other fees. The defendants, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Impax Laboratories, were both targeted in the suit. Said the plaintiffs:
“The representative plaintiffs all took defendants’ products to treat their depression but their symptoms instead worsened. Had they known that the differences in defendants’ products rendered them useless as antidepressants, plaintiffs would not have purchased defendants’ medication. Defendants failed to disclose important information to consumers, in violation of California consumer protection laws.
Whether this met the stipulation of Federal rule of Civil Procedure 23(b), so that individual class members would also receive compensation, and not just attorneys, was a “close” call according to the judge. He said the request for statutory damages would not count under Rule 23 (b) because the statutory damages “avoid an individualized calculation of damages. Plaintiffs also proposed a complicated mechanism whereby restitution damages could be calculated for the entire class.”
There have been some complaints against this that only lawyers would have benefited from the settlement.