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Aug-10-2019 01:15printcomments

Drug Companies Sued for Price Fixing by 44 States

"This may be the largest cartel case in the history of the United States" -Connecticut Attorney General William Tong

Pharmaceuticals
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(SALEM, Ore.) - In May, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum joined 43 states in a lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 of the nation's largest generic drug manufacturers alleging a broad conspiracy to inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition and restrain trade for more than 100 different generic drugs.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, also names 15 individual senior executive defendants who were responsible for sales, marketing, pricing and operations.

The drugs include tablets, capsules, suspensions, creams, gels, ointments, and classes, including statins, ace inhibitors, beta blockers, antibiotics, anti-depressants, contraceptives, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

These drugs treat a range of diseases and conditions from basic infections to diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, HIV, ADHD, and more.

In some instances, the coordinated price increases were over 1,000%.

“These generic drugs make up a significant portion of the marketplace, and account for billions of dollars of sales in the United States.

"We allege that companies and executives conspired together to increase the prices of these important generic drugs that so many Americans depend on, and we all felt the effects.

"This alleged scheme meant higher prices for the health insurance market, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as individuals who depend on the drugs. We will not let these company take advantage of Oregonians,” said Attorney General Rosenblum.

The complaint alleges that Teva, Sandoz, Mylan, Pfizer and 16 other generic drug manufacturers engaged in a coordinated campaign to conspire to fix prices, allocate markets and rig bids for the different generic drugs.

The complaint lays out an interconnected web of industry executives where these competitors met with each other during industry dinners, "girls nights out", lunches, cocktail parties, golf outings and communicated via frequent telephone calls, emails and text messages that sowed the seeds for their illegal agreements.

The lawsuit seeks damages, civil penalties and actions by the court to restore competition to the generic drug market.

FYI: Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) paid over $25 million fighting the Affordable Care Act in 2009.

"We have hard evidence that shows the generic drug industry perpetrated a multi-billion dollar fraud on the American people. We have emails, text messages, telephone records, and former company insiders that we believe will prove a multi-year conspiracy to fix prices and divide market share for huge numbers of generic drugs," said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.

"These are drugs that people in this country rely on every day for acute and chronic conditions and diseases from diabetes and cancer to depression and arthritis. We all wonder why our healthcare, and specifically the prices for generic prescription drugs, are so expensive in this country—this is a big reason why.

"This investigation is still in its early stages. We will not stop until these companies and the individuals who orchestrated these schemes are held accountable," added Attorney General Tong.

The complaint is the second in an ongoing, expanding multi-state investigation. The first lawsuit, still pending in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, was filed in 2016 and now includes 18 corporate defendants, two individual defendants, and references 15 generic drugs.

In addition to Oregon, other states who joined the suit include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Puerto Rico.

Corporate Defendants:

  1. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.
  2. Sandoz, Inc.
  3. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.
  4. Actavis Holdco US, Inc.
  5. Actavis Pharma, Inc.
  6. Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  7. Apotex Corp.
  8. Aurobindo Pharma U.S.A., Inc.
  9. Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc.
  10. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc.
  11. Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc. USA
  12. Greenstone LLC
  13. Lannett Company, Inc.
  14. Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  15. Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc.
  16. Pfizer, Inc.
  17. Taro Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.
  18. Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC
  19. Wockhardt USA, LLC
  20. Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA), Inc.

Drugs listed in the complaint as subject to price-fixing and market allocation agreements:

  1. Adapalene Gel
  2. Amiloride HCL/HCTZ Tablets
  3. Amoxicillin/Clavulanate Chewable Tablets
  4. Amphetamine/Dextroamphetamine ER (aka Mixed Amphetamine Salts)
  5. Amphetamine/Dextroamphetamine IR
  6. Azithromycin Oral Suspension
  7. Azithromycin Suspension
  8. Baclofen Tablets
  9. Benazepril HCTZ
  10. Bethanechol Chloride Tablets
  11. Budesonide DR Capsules
  12. Budesonide Inhalation
  13. Bumetanide Tablets
  14. Buspirone Hydrochloride Tablets
  15. Cabergoline
  16. Capecitabine
  17. Carbamazepine Chewable Tablets
  18. Carbamazepine Tablets
  19. Cefdinir Capsules
  20. Cefdinir Oral Suspension
  21. Cefprozil Tablets
  22. Celecoxib
  23. Cephalexin Suspension
  24. Cimetidine Tablets
  25. Ciprofloxacin Tablets
  26. Clarithromycin ER Tablets
  27. Clemastine Fumarate Tablets
  28. Clomipramine HCL
  29. Clonidine TTS Patch
  30. Clotrimazole Topical Solution
  31. Cyproheptadine HCL Tablets
  32. Desmopressin Acetate Tablets
  33. Desogestrel/Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets (Kariva)
  34. Dexmethylphenidate
  35. Dextroamphetamine Sulfate ER
  36. Diclofenac Potassium Tablets
  37. Dicloxacillin Sodium Capsules
  38. Diflunisal Tablets
  39. Diltiazem HCL Tablets
  40. Disopyramide Phosphate Capsules
  41. Doxazosin Mesylate Tablets
  42. Drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol (Ocella)
  43. Enalapril Maleate Tablets
  44. Entecavir
  45. Epitol Tablets
  46. Estazolam Tablets
  47. Estradiol Tablets
  48. Ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (Portia and Jolessa)
  49. Ethosuximide Capsules
  50. Ethosuximide Oral Solution
  51. Etodolac ER Tablets
  52. Etodolac Tablets
  53. Fenofibrate
  54. Fluconazole Tablets
  55. Fluocinonide Cream
  56. Fluocinonide Emolient Cream
  57. Fluocinonide Gel
  58. Fluocinonide Ointment
  59. Fluoxetine HCL Tablets
  60. Flurbiprofen Tablets
  61. Flutamide Capsules
  62. Fluvastatin Sodium Capsules
  63. Gabapentin Tablets
  64. Glimepiride Tablets
  65. Griseofulvin Suspension
  66. Haloperidol
  67. Hydroxyurea Capsules
  68. Hydroxyzine Pamoate Capsules
  69. Irbesartan
  70. Isoniazid
  71. Ketoconazole Cream
  72. Ketoconazole Tablets
  73. Ketoprofen Capsules
  74. Ketorolac Tromethamine Tablets
  75. Labetalol HCL Tablets
  76. Lamivudine/Zidovudine (generic Combivir)
  77. Levothyroxine
  78. Loperamide HCL Capsules
  79. Medroxyprogesterone Tablets
  80. Methotrexate Tablets
  81. Mimvey (Estradiol/Noreth) Tablets
  82. Moexipril HCL Tablets
  83. Moexipril HCL/HCTZ Tablets
  84. Nabumetone Tablets
  85. Nadolol Tablets
  86. Niacin ER Tablets
  87. Nitrofurantoin MAC Capsules
  88. Norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol (Balziva)
  89. Northindrone Acetate
  90. Nortriptylline Hydrochloride Capsules
  91. Omega-3-Acid Ethyl Esters
  92. Oxaprozin Tablets
  93. Oxybutynin Chloride Tablets
  94. Paricalcitol
  95. Penicillin VK Tablets
  96. Pentoxifylline Tablets
  97. Piroxicam
  98. Pravastatin Sodium Tablets
  99. Prazosin HCL Capsules
  100. Prochlorperazine Tablets
  101. Propranolol HCL Tablets
  102. Raloxifine HCL Tablets
  103. Ranitidine HCL Tablets
  104. Tamoxifen Citrate Tablets
  105. Temozolomide
  106. Tizanidine
  107. Tobramycin
  108. Tolmetin Sodium Capsules
  109. Tolterodine ER
  110. Tolterodine Tartrate
  111. Topiramate Sprinkle Capsules
  112. Trifluoperazine HCL
  113. Valsartan HCTZ
  114. Warfarin Sodium Tablets

The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) is led by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, and serves as the state’s law firm. The Oregon DOJ advocates for and protects all Oregonians, especially the most vulnerable, such as children and seniors.

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