'Leading drug companies including Teva, Pfizer, Novartis and Mylan conspired to inflate the prices of generic drugs by as much as 1,000 per cent, according to a far-reaching lawsuit filed on Friday by 44 states.
The industry-wide scheme affected the prices of more than 100 generic drugs, according to the complaint, including lamivudine-zidovudine, which is used to treat HIV; budesonide, an asthma medication; fenofibrate, which is used to treat high cholesterol; amphetamine-dextroamphetamine for ADHD; oral antibiotics; blood thinners; cancer drugs; contraceptives; and antidepressants.
In court documents, the state prosecutors lay out a brazen price-fixing scheme involving more than a dozen generic drug companies and just as many executives responsible for sales, marketing and pricing.
The complaint alleges that the conspirators knew their efforts to thwart competition were illegal and that they therefore avoided written records by coordinating instead at industry meals, parties, golf outings and other networking events.
The bulk of the collusive activity occurred from July 2013 to January 2015, according to the complaint, when Teva raised prices on nearly 400 formulations of 112 generic drugs.
A key element of the scheme, the complaint alleges, was an agreement among competitors to cooperate on pricing so each company could maintain a “fair share” of the generic drug markets.
At the same time, the companies colluded to raise prices on as many drugs as possible, according to the complaint.
Although the complaint paints Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, which is based in Pennsylvania, as a leader in the conspiracy, it describes the conduct as “pervasive and industry-wide”.'
Read more: Leading US drug companies conspired to inflate prices of common medicines by up to 1,000%, prosecutors say
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