State Lawsuit Charges Generic Makers with Price Fixing

The suit filed by 44 states claims prices were inflated by up to 1000 percent.


A lawsuit recently filed in the Federal District Court in Connecticut expands on an older lawsuit filed in December 2016 in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania claiming price fixing by generic drug makers, with Teva Pharmaceuticals leading the activity.


The suit, which claims that generic drug manufacturers inflated prices by as much as 1000 percent, was filed on behalf of 44 states — it names Pfizer, Novartis and Mylan and others, as well as several company executives responsible for sales, marketing and pricing. It also alleges the executives knew they were pursuing illegal activities and purposely avoiding meetings where discussions would be recorded, instead, gathering at social outings.


Generic drugs included in the “illegal conspiracy” suit included lamivudine-zidovudine, which treats H.I.V.; budesonide, an asthma medication; fenofibrate, which treats high cholesterol; amphetamine-dextroamphetamine for A.D.H.D.; oral antibiotics; blood thinners; cancer drugs; contraceptives; and antidepressants.


The lawsuit covers a period from July 2013 to January 2015 and, according to the complaint, included an agreement between the participants that prices would be raised, but set so that each company could maintain a “fair share” of the market. The competitors would “systematically and routinely communicate with one another directly, divvy up customers to create an artificial equilibrium in the market, and then maintain anticompetitively high prices,” it states.

Teva and Pfizer have denied any wrongdoing.


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