Indiana joins nationwide lawsuit against generic drug makers

Staff Report
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS—Indiana has joined 43 states in a lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 of the nation’s largest generic drug manufacturers, accusing them of conspiring to inflate and manipulate drug prices.

The lawsuit also says the drug companies reduced competition for more than 100 different generic drugs by engaging in a coordinated and systematic campaign to conspire with each other to fix prices, allocate markets so they wouldn’t compete against each other and rig bids for the drugs.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, names 15 additional individual senior executive defendants responsible for sales, marketing, pricing and operations. Besides Teva, some of the other drug companies named in the civil suit include Pfizer, Mylan and Sandoz.

The lawsuit says that the conduct of the drug companies resulted in higher prices to the health insurance market, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as causing individuals to pay inflated costs for prescription medications.

 “This lawsuit should serve as a warning to any company that intentionally defies the trust of their customers,” said Attorney General Curtis Hill in a news release. “The rising cost of health care is daunting enough without price fixing of medications. Americans deserve options when they shop for these products.”

He said that pharmaceutical companies that engage in price-fixing and artificial cost inflation are part of the problem that ails health care in the United States.

Some of the medications affected by the alleged price-fixing scheme include medications for diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, HIV, ADHD and more, according to the lawsuit.  In some instances, price increases were more than 1,000 percent.

The lawsuit also said that competitors communicated frequently during social gatherings and through phone calls, emails and text messages. The lawsuit seeks damages, civil penalties and actions by the court to restore competition to the generic drug market.

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