Delaware joins lawsuit alleging conspiracy by generic drugmakers to raise prices

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Delaware joined 42 states and Puerto Rico in a lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 of the nation’s largest generic drug manufacturers. The suit alleges a broad conspiracy to artificially inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition, and unreasonably restrain trade for more than 100 different generic drugs.

The lawsuit, filed Friday by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, also names 15 individual senior executive defendants at the heart of the conspiracy who were responsible for sales, marketing, pricing and operations. 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, taxpayer-funded healthcare programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and individuals who must pay artificially-inflated prices for their prescription drugs.

Prices of generic drugs have been rising, despite the fact that the products are not covered by patents. In some cases, generics have been sold to a company that immediately raises prices.

NPR reported that Tong pointed out that a generic drug he uses to treat a skin condition has seen an 8,000 percent price increase.

The trade association representing generic drug manufacturers attacked the claims in the lawsuit in a TV interview. (See below)

“It’s hard enough for thousands of Delawareans – including many of our seniors living on fixed incomes – to afford basic health care and medication,” said Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings. “Schemes that tilt the playing field even further against the middle class and our most vulnerable neighbors are unconscionable, unacceptable, and illegal. The people and companies responsible for this conspiracy will be held accountable.”

The complaint alleges that Teva, Sandoz, Mylan, Pfizer and 16 other generic drug manufacturers 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 generic drugs. The drugs span all types, including tablets, capsules, suspensions, creams, gels, ointments, and classes, including statins, ace inhibitors, beta blockers, antibiotics, anti-depressants, contraceptives, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and 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 percent.

According to a release, the complaint lays out an interconnected web of industry executives where competitors met with each other during industry dinners, lunches, cocktail parties, golf outings and communicated via frequent telephone calls, emails and text messages that sowed the seeds for their illegal agreements. Throughout the complaint, defendants use terms like “fair share,” “playing nice in the sandbox,” and “responsible competitor” to describe how they unlawfully discouraged competition, raised prices and enforced an ingrained culture of collusion.

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

Friday’s filing is the second multistate complaint that Delaware has joined alleging price fixing in the generic pharmaceutical market. The first complaint, 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 15 generic drugs. Two former executives from Heritage Pharmaceuticals, Jeffery Glazer and Jason Malek, have enteredinto settlement agreementsand are cooperating with the Attorneys General working group in that case.

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.

In addition to Delaware and Connecticut, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, 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 joined the suit.

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
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