West Virginia joins federal lawsuit claiming price conspiracy among generic drug makers

By Chris Dickerson | May 13, 2019

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – West Virginia and 43 other states have filed an antitrust lawsuit claiming some of the nation’s largest generic drug companies conspired to inflate and manipulate prices, cut competition and restrain trade for more than 100 different drugs.

The federal complaint, which was filed May 10 in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, also lists 15 senior executives as defendants, including Mylan Vice President of Sales James Nesta.

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

The lawsuit claims 20 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,” Morrisey’s office says. “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 complete list of companies named as defendants are Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer Inc., 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., Taro Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., Upsher-Smith Laboratories LLC, Wockhardt USA LLC and Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA) Inc.

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

In the 524-page complaint, West Virginia says the defendants’ actions violate the West Virginia Antitrust Act.

“These violations substantially affected the State of West Virginia and had impacts within the State of West Virginia,” the complaint states. “West Virginia affirmatively expresses that the state is not seeking any relief in this action for the federal share of funding for West Virginia’s Medicaid Program. Claims for damages for any federal monies expended by the State of West Virginia are hereby expressly disavowed.”

Connecticut AG William Tong led the lawsuit, which was joined by the AGs from West Virginia, 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.

The case has been assigned to District Judge Michael P. Shea.

U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut case number 3:19-cv-00710-MPS

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Organizations in this Story

Actavis Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC Mylan Pharmaceuticals Pfizer Sandoz Corp Teva Pharmaceuticals U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut West Virginia Attorney General

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