Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that California has joined a federal antitrust lawsuit with 39 other states charging six generic drug-makers with an illegal conspiracy to divide customers and markets and increase prices for two generic drugs.
The complaint alleges that the six pharmaceutical companies – Heritage Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Aurobindo Pharma USA, Inc., Citron Pharma, LLC, Mayne Pharma (USA), Inc., Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.— had a well-coordinated and long-running conspiracy to fix prices and allocate markets for doxycycline hyclate delayed release, an antibiotic, and glyburide, an oral diabetes medication. The complaint alleges that the defendants routinely coordinated their scheme through meetings with competitors at industry trade shows, customer conferences and other events, as well as through direct email, phone and text message communications. The alleged anticompetitive conduct – including efforts to fix and increase prices, allocate markets and otherwise thwart competition – caused significant, harmful and continuing effects in the country’s healthcare system.
“All consumers deserve fair and reasonable drug prices,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Today’s lawsuit represents just one small step in what will be a robust and sustained challenge to anticompetitive practices in the pharmaceutical industry. My office is committed to combating wrongful drug company conduct on behalf of all consumers in California.”
California joined the amended complaint filed in the federal court in Connecticut today along with 39 other states (Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin). The lawsuit was filed under seal in the Connecticut federal court and portions of the complaint are redacted to avoid compromising the ongoing investigation.
On February 3, Attorney General Becerra filed a lawsuit against another pharmaceutical company that received payments in a pay-to-delay arrangement with respect to the Lidoderm drug. “Pay-for-delay agreements serve to line the pockets of drug companies at the expense of our consumers,” he said. “We intend to vigorously challenge them.”
A copy of the redacted amended complaint is attached to the electronic version of this release [here].