West Virginia, 42 other states accuse drug companies of price-fixing

(WVVA) West Virginia joins a massive lawsuit which accuses 20 generic drug manufacturers of conspiring to fix prices on more than 100 different drugs.

According to WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, the lawsuit also names 15 senior executives.

“Antitrust violations drive up prices for the consumer and, in this instance, it impacts those in desperate need of prescription drugs,” said Morrisey.

The litigation involves medications used in the treatment of cancer, diabetes, depression, epilepsy, HIV, and other medical conditions. Morrisey said top executives “met each other during lunches, cocktail parties and golf outings,” as well as frequent communication via phones and emails.”

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut. It seeks damages, civil penalties and action to restore competition.

Click here to view the lawsuit.

Below is the full news release issued by WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Attorney General Morrisey Sues Teva, Mylan and 18 Generic Drug Makers

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed suit alleging some of the nation’s largest generic drug makers, including Mylan Pharmaceuticals, conspired with Teva Pharmaceuticals and each other as 20 manufacturers in all engaged in a broad scheme to artificially inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition and unreasonably restrain trade for more than 100 different generic drugs.

The lawsuit, brought by 44 attorneys general, also names 15 individual senior executive defendants at the heart of the alleged conspiracy who were responsible for sales, marketing, pricing and operations, including James Nesta, Vice President of Sales at Mylan.

“The allegations that we have included in the complaint, when proven, are illegal and those who participated in this type of conspiracy must be held accountable,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Antitrust violations drive up prices for the consumer and, in this instance, it impacts those in desperate need of prescription drugs.”

The lawsuit alleges 20 of the nation’s largest generic drug makers engaged in a broad, coordinated and systematic campaign to conspire with each other to fix prices, allocate markets and rig bids for more than 100 different drugs. This alleged collusion involved an interconnected web of industry executives who met with each other during lunches, cocktail parties and golf outings, as well as frequent communication via phone calls, text messages and emails.

The drugs at issue account for billions of dollars of sales in the United States, and the alleged schemes increased prices affecting the health insurance market and individuals who must pay artificially-inflated prices for their prescription drugs.

Those drugs include medications to treat or manage depression, diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, HIV, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a host of other conditions.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, seeks damages, civil penalties and actions by the court to restore competition to the generic drug market.

Other pharmaceutical companies named as defendants are Sandoz Inc.; Actavis Holdco US Inc.; Actavis Pharma Inc.; Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Apotex Corp.; Aurobindo Pharma U.S.A. Inc.; Breckenridge Pharmaceutical Inc.; Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Inc.; Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Greenstone LLC; Lannett Company Inc.; Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Par Pharmaceutical Companies Inc.; Pfizer Inc.; Taro Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.; Upsher-Smith Laboratories LLC; Wockhardt USA LLC; and Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA) Inc.

West Virginia joined the Connecticut-led complaint with Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, 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, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Paul Hess

Paul Hess

Social Media & Digital Content Manager

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