In a new 606-page lawsuit, 51 states and regions claim 26 general businesses, and ten individuals commonly worked to fix prices on at least 80 skin medications.
The respondents include some of the most prominent names in the generics business, including Novartis’ Sandoz unit, Teva, Mylan, and Pfizer.
The prosecution accuses medicine manufacturers of price-fixing from at least 2009 through early 2016. The suit includes at least 80 skin medications, such as topical generic drugs, as well as creams, lotions, gels, and creams that treat skin diseases, pain, and hypersensitivities, according to the suit filed in the U.S. District Court in Connecticut on Wednesday.
The cases allege firm executives worked with phone communications, text messages, emails, meetings, and dinner parties to “retaliate prices and direct competition as though it were a conventional course of any industry,” Connecticut’s attorney general, General William Tong, stated in the following announcement.
A Generics Price-Fixing Inquiry
The inquiry is “growing,” Tong tells; Wednesday’s lawsuit supports two others filed in recent years by states. All in all, the plan outlined a “multibillion-dollar scam” that was “so systemic that it has involved approximately every individual customer of confined goods,” Tong stated.
The office of Connecticut’s attorney officer struck up a generics price-fixing inquiry in 2014 and initially sued in 2016. The plaintiffs changed that first lawsuit in 2017 and recorded another action in 2019. Both of those lawsuits are pending.
The newest lawsuit is based on proof from cooperating observers, “millions” of records, and notes, Tong stated. The evidence paints “an indisputable picture of the most comprehensive private corporate cartel in our nation’s history,” he continued.
In their suit last year, events sued Teva and 19 other companies over alleged price-fixing on dozens of drugs. The government’s stated Teva performed a central role in the scheme, but those other organizations “voluntarily” engaged. A Teva spokeswoman said at the time the organization “has not involved in any conduct that would lead to civil or illegal involvement.”
The Contract Deal
Aside from the countries’ probe, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been working through its own generics price-fixing research for years—and it’s already inked some arrangements with companies and managers.
Last month, Apotex has agreed to price-fixing and agreed to pay a $24 million illegal fine in a deal with the DOJ. Before that, Sandoz struck a $195 million contract deal. Heritage Pharmaceuticals and Rising Pharmaceuticals each inked their arrangements as well.
The DOJ has also defended guilty pleas from two former officials of Heritage Pharmaceuticals and a former Novartis executive. For its part, Teva has reportedly bowed out of agreement talks with the feds.
In a comment Wednesday, Sandoz announced it “quarrels with the general claims” brought in the states’ lawsuit.
The Corporation Support
“The only cases of misconduct at the core of the resolution we approached with the U.S. Department of Justice in March do not help the vast, systemic conspiracy the States allege,” the corporation added. “We take our agreement with antitrust laws seriously, and we will proceed to support ourselves in this matter.”
Apart from Sandoz, the suit titles Actavis, Amneal, Aurobindo, Bausch, Fougera, Glenmark, G&W, Lannett, Lupin, Mallinckrodt, Mylan, Perrigo, Pfizer, Sun Pharmaceutical, Taro Pharmaceuticals, Wockhardt and Teligent Pharma.
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