Lawsuit alleges scheme to fix prices for 100-plus drugs

DES MOINES, IOWA (May 12, 2019) — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller joined 43 attorneys-general in announcing a lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 of the nation's largest generic-drug manufacturers alleging a broad conspiracy to artificially inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition, and unreasonably restrain trade for more than 100 different generic drugs.

The lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the District of Connecticut, also names 15 individual senior executive defendants at the heart of the conspiracy who were responsible for sales, marketing, pricing, and operations. 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, taxpayer-funded healthcare programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and individuals who must pay artificially inflated prices for their prescription drugs.

“The collusion alleged in this lawsuit has likely caused significant harm to Iowa consumers, businesses, and taxpayers,” AG Miller said. “The evidence includes emails, text messages, telephone records and the testimony of former industry insiders, and it adds up to a multi-billion-dollar fraud on people with acute and chronic health conditions.”

The complaint alleges that Teva, Sandoz, Mylan, Pfizer, and 16 other generic-drug manufacturers engaged in a broad, coordinated, and systematic campaign to conspire with each other to fix prices, allocate markets, and rig bids. The drugs span all types, including tablets, capsules, suspensions, creams, gels, ointments, and classes, including statins, ace-inhibitors, beta-blockers, antibiotics, anti-depressants, contraceptives, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and treat a range of diseases and conditions from basic infections to diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, HIV, ADHD, and more.

In some instances, the coordinated price increases were more than 1,000 percent.

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