PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — A federal lawsuit filed by West Virginia and 43 other states against Mylan Pharmaceuticals has been transferred from the federal court in Connecticut to U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia.
In a conditional transfer order, John W. Nichols, the clerk of the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, noted that since Aug. 5, 2016, the panel transferred a total of 45 actions to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania involving the antitrust litigation. All of the actions have been assigned to District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe.
"Pursuant to Rule 7.1 of the Rules of Procedure of the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, the action(s) on the attached schedule are transferred under 28 U.S.C. § 1407 to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for the reasons stated in the order of August 5, 2016, and, with the consent of that court, assigned to the Honorable Cynthia M. Rufe," the order states.
The states filed the antitrust lawsuit alleging 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 lawsuit was originally filed May 10 in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. It also lists more than a dozen senior executives as defendants, including Mylan Vice President of Sales James Nesta.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a statement the allegations that were in the complaint, when proven, are illegal and those who participated in this type of conspiracy must be held accountable.
"Antitrust violations drive up prices for the consumer and, in this instance, it impacts those in desperate need of prescription drugs," Morrisey said.
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."
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.