44 attorneys general file antitrust suit against 20 drug manufacturers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTAP) - Attorneys general from West Virginia, Ohio and 42 other states have filed an antitrust lawsuit against 20 of the nation’s largest generic drug manufacturers.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, accuses the drugmakers of a conspiracy to “artificially inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition and unreasonably restrain trade” for more than 100 generic drugs.

“The allegations that we have included in the complaint, when proven, are illegal and those who participated in this type of conspiracy must be held accountable,” West Virginia Attorney General Morrisey said.
“Antitrust violations drive up prices for the consumer and, in this instance, it impacts those in desperate need of prescription drugs.”

Authorities said the drugs at issue account for billions of dollars of sales in the United States and that the alleged schemes increased prices affecting the health-insurance market, health-care programs like Medicare and Medicaid and individuals who must pay artificially-inflated prices for their prescriptions drugs, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said in a news release.

“Ohioans who need medicine might think generic drugs would be their cheapest option – but some manufacturers have rigged the systems to avoid competition,” Yost said. “That's not how a free market works, and the conspiracy to avoid competition makes prices higher – and it’s against the law. This lawsuit is the prescription for lower medicine prices in a free market.”

The complaint, which also names 15 senior drug-company executives, is the second to be filed in an investigation that the Connecticut attorney general’s office has referred to as possibly the largest cartel case in the history of the United States.

The first complaint, still pending in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, was filed in 2016 and now includes 18 corporate defendants, two individual defendants, and 15 generic drugs.

Companies named in the latest lawsuit include:

- Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.
- Sandoz, Inc.
- Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.
- Actavis Holdco US, Inc.
- Actavis Pharma, Inc.
- Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Apotex Corp.
- Aurobindo Pharma U.S.A., Inc.
- Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc.
- Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc.
- Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc. USA
- Greenstone LLC
- Lannett Company, Inc.
- Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc.
- Pfizer, Inc.
- Taro Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.
- Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC
- Wockhardt USA, LLC
- Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA), Inc.