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Beshear, AGs seek to broaden lawsuit in alleged drug price conspiracy

Attorneys general in several states - including Kentucky and all surrounding states: Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, are among the group of plaintiffs in the lawsuit. want to name 18 drug manufacturers, 15 generic drugs in ongoing lawsuit, alleging pharmaceutical companies conspired to Raise Generic Drug Prices

By Terry Sebastian and Crystal Staley
News from Attorney General Andy Beshear's office

FRANKFORT, KY (2 Nov 2017) - Attorney General Andy Beshear and a group of AGs are asking a federal judge for the authority to name additional drug manufacturers and drugs in its pending multistate lawsuit that alleges widespread collusion among pharmaceutical companies to reduce competition and increase the price of generic drugs.

If granted, the amended December 2016 lawsuit would increase the number of generic drug manufacturer defendants from six to 18 and the number of drugs at issue in the litigation from two to 15.

The states allege the actions by the companies violate both state and federal antitrust laws. The states are asking the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to require the companies correct the anticompetitive effects caused by their conduct, and calls for repayment of the companies' "ill-gotten gains," along with civil penalties to the states.

The states are seeking to expand the complaint to include Actavis Holdco U.S. Inc.; Actavis Pharma Inc.; Ascend Laboratories LLC; Apotex Corp.; Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Inc.; Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd.; Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Lannett Company Inc.; Par Pharmaceutical Companies Inc.; Sandoz Inc.; Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Inc. and Zydus Pharmacuticuals (USA) Inc.

The lawsuit currently claims generic drug-maker Heritage Pharmaceuticals Inc., Auribindo Pharma USA Inc., Citron Pharma LLC, Mayne Pharma (USA) Inc., Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc allegedly entered into numerous illegal conspiracies with generic drugs doxycycline hyclate delayed release, an antibiotic, and glyburide, an oral diabetes medication.

The expanded complaint adds allegations that the additional companies entered into conspiracies involving the following generic drugs:
  • Acetazolamide, used to treat glaucoma and epilepsy

  • Doxycycline monohydrate, an antibiotic

  • Fosinopril-hydrochlorothiazide, used to treat high blood pressure

  • Glipizide-metformin, a diabetes medication

  • Glyburide-metformin, a diabetes medication

  • Leflunomide, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis

  • Meprobamate, an anxiety medication

  • Nimodipine, a calcium channel blocking agent used to reduce problems caused by a bleeding blood vessel in the brain

  • Nystatin, an antifungal medication

  • Paromomycin, an antibiotic used to treat certain parasite infections

  • Theophylline, used to treat asthma and other lung problems

  • Verapamil, used to treat hypertension; and

  • Zoledronic acid, used to treat hypercalcemia
"The alleged actions by these companies constitute a massive conspiracy that has caused significant, harmful and continuing effects not just in the country's health care system but right here in Kentucky," Beshear said. "In 2015, generic drug sales in the United States were estimated at $74.5 billion; currently, the generic pharmaceutical industry accounts for approximately 88 percent of all prescriptions written in the United States."

In July 2014, the state of Connecticut initiated an investigation of the reasons behind suspicious price increases of certain generic pharmaceuticals. The ongoing investigation uncovered evidence of a broad, well-coordinated and long-running series of conspiracies to fix prices and allocate markets for a number of generic pharmaceuticals.

Attorneys general in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia are among the group of plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

One of Beshear's core missions is to protect Kentucky families and seniors from those who seek to defraud them.

This story was posted on 2017-11-03 06:33:31
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