WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Racine today joined a coalition of 51 states in filing a lawsuit against 26 generic drug manufacturers for conspiring to artificially inflate and manipulate drug prices, reduce competition, and unreasonably restrict trade for generic drugs sold across the United States. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, the complaint alleges these corporations conspired to fix prices on 80 topical generic drugs that account for billions of dollars of sales nationwide. The topical drugs include creams, gels, lotions, ointments, shampoos, and solutions used to treat a variety of skin conditions, pain, and allergies. This complaint is OAG’s third antitrust lawsuit filed against the generic drug industry and seeks damages, civil penalties, and actions by the court to restore competition to the generic drug market.
Between 2007 and 2014, three generic drug manufacturers, Taro, Perrigo, and Fougera (now Sandoz) sold nearly two-thirds of all generic topical products dispensed in the United States. An ongoing multistate investigation uncovered comprehensive and direct evidence of unlawful agreements to minimize competition and raise prices on dozens of topical products. Today’s lawsuit alleges longstanding agreements among manufacturers to ensure a “fair share” of the market for each competitor, and to prevent “price erosion” due to competition. The lawsuit is built on evidence from several cooperating witnesses at the core of the conspiracy, a massive 20 million document database, and millions of phone records for over 600 sales and pricing individuals in the generics industry.
This is the third lawsuit filed in an ongoing, expanding antitrust investigation into the generic drug industry. The first Complaint, still pending in the 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. Two former executives from Heritage Pharmaceuticals, Jeffery Glazer and Jason Malek, have entered into settlement agreements and are cooperating with the Attorneys General working group in that case. The second Complaint, also pending in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, was filed in 2019 against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 of the nation’s largest generic drug manufacturers.
A copy of the complaint can be found at: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/AG/Press_Releases/2019/FINAL-Redacted-Public-Derm-Complaint.PDF
Attorney General Racine joined the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Territory of Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin in filing the complaint.