'The business practices of Big Pharma are abhorrent, but some people manage to avoid falling victim to the inflated prices of brand-name medications by getting generic pills. Unfortunately, that is looking less and less like a viable alternative as more information about extensive price fixing among generic drug companies comes to light. Now, the makers of generic pills are facing a federal antitrust case brought about by 45 different states.
The attorneys general of the states in question are accusing nearly 20 generic drug makers of illegally collaborating to hike the prices of their drugs. According to the suit, which was first reported by Business Insider, employees at rival firms conspired in close communications about ways to increase their prices on drugs used to treat conditions like diabetes, insomnia, anxiety, heart failure, and epilepsy.
Their actions saw the prices of common drugs rise by 1,000 percent or more, with patients and taxpayers footing the bill. The lawsuit alleges they violated federal and state laws related to competition and consumer protection.
In one example mentioned in the civil suit, New Jersey drug company Heritage Pharmaceuticals contacted a rival’s vice president to “discuss strategy” related to how the price for a bone disease drug should be set. They found out how the rival was setting the price for its version of the medication and talked about how they could divide up the market to limit competition.
The lawsuit accuses some major pharmaceutical companies of this type of behavior, including Mylan, Novartis and Teva. Employees allegedly communicated via emails, text messages, phone calls and LinkedIn to find ways to hike the prices of a variety of generic medications. A criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice is also underway.'
Read more: Generic drug companies conspired to fix drug prices and rake in billions by cheating customers, lawsuit says
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19 February 2019
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