Attorney General Josh Stein Files New Allegations in Expanded Federal Generic Drug Antitrust Lawsuit
released on October 31, 2017
found in newsletter: October 2017
RALEIGH – Attorney General Josh Stein moved to expand his existing antitrust investigation of the generic drug industry to include an additional 12 pharmaceutical company defendants. This new filing will increase the number of generic drug manufacturer defendants from six to 18 in the case and the number of drugs at issue in the litigation from two to 15. The expanded complaint alleges a number of specific illegal agreements among the defendants to fix prices and allocate customers for a number of generic drugs.
Attorney General Stein and the 45 states joining him in this action further allege that these conspiracies were part of a much broader, overarching industry code of conduct that enabled the defendant manufacturers to divvy up the market for specific generic drugs in accordance with an established, agreed-upon understanding for assigning each competitor their share of the market.
“Almost 88 percent of all prescriptions written in the United States are for generic drugs,” said Attorney General Stein. “It is critical that patients have access to affordable, life-saving medication, and that the market for those medications is fair. I will continue to investigate these and other drug manufacturers and hold them accountable for any illegal actions.”
Previously, the lawsuit was filed against generic drug manufacturers Heritage Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Aurobindo Pharma USA, Inc.; Citron Pharma, LLC; Mayne Pharma (USA), Inc.; Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. alleging that they entered into illegal conspiracies to unreasonably restrain trade, artificially inflate and manipulate prices and reduce competition in the United States for two drugs: doxycycline hyclate delayed release, an antibiotic, and glyburide, an oral diabetes medication.
The states are seeking to expand the complaint to include Actavis Holdco U.S., Inc.; Actavis Pharma, Inc.; Ascend Laboratories, LLC; Apotex Corp.; Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc.; Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Ltd.; Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Lannett Company, Inc.; Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc.; Sandoz, Inc.; Sun Pharmaceutical Industries,Inc.; and Zydus Pharmacuticuals (USA), Inc.
The expanded complaint also adds allegations that the companies entered into conspiracies involving the following additional generic drugs:
Acetazolamide, used to treat glaucoma and epilepsy;
Doxycycline monohydrate, an antibiotic;
Fosinopril-hydrochlorothiazide, used to treat high blood pressure;
Glipizide-metformin, a diabetes medication;
Glyburide-metformin, a diabetes medication;
Leflunomide, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis;
Meprobamate, an anxiety medication;
Nimodipine, a calcium channel blocking agent used to reduce problems caused by a bleeding blood vessel in the brain;
Nystatin, an antifungal medication;
Paromomycin, an antibiotic used to treat certain parasite infections;
Theophylline, used to treat asthma and other lung problems;
Verapamil, used to treat hypertension; and
Zoledronic acid, used to treat hypercalcemia.
Original Press Release