Drug companies accused of conspiracy to raise prices
stevepb / Pixabay

Drug companies accused of conspiracy to raise prices

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong filed a lawsuit Sunday against numerous pharmaceutical companies and individuals for conspiring to artificially raise prices on more than 100 generic drugs. The complaint was filed in the District Court for the District of Connecticut and names Teva Pharmaceuticals along with 19 other companies and 15 individuals who are senior executives at the heart of the scandal.

Those individuals named were responsible for the “sales, marketing, pricing and operations” of these drugs that generate billions of dollars in sales. This increased cost is alleged to affect the greater healthcare market and cost taxpayers money through raising costs for Medicare and Medicaid.

The complaint alleges that there was a “broad, coordinated and systematic campaign” to fix prices on all types of drugs. It spans classes of drugs “including statins, ace inhibitors, beta blockers, antibiotics, anti-depressants, contraceptives [and] non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.” These drugs treat a wide variety of diseases ranging from “basic infections to diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, HIV, ADHD, and more.” These price increases were sometimes over 1,000%.

In the complaint, a web of communications between executives shows their culture of “playing nice” with each other to be good competitors. The Connecticut Attorney General stated, “We have emails, text messages, telephone records, and former company insiders that we believe will prove a multi-year conspiracy to fix prices and divide market share for huge numbers of generic drugs.”

This complaint follows one filed in 2017 that is still pending before the Eastern District of Pennsylvania charging 18 corporate defendants about 14 drugs.

The coalition seeks to enjoin the ongoing behavior and seeks disgorgement of any ill-gotten gains.