Generic Drug Price Fixing Lawsuit
Multiple lawsuits have been filed against generic drug manufacturers, alleging that these companies colluded to substantially increase the price of generic drugs.
The lawsuits allege a broad conspiracy among generic drug manufacturers to reduce competition and fix prices for several generic drugs. As a result, prices for certain drugs have surged as much as 8,000% since 2013.
Class action lawsuits, coordinated in Pennsylvania federal court by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, allege that nine companies colluded to raise the prices of two drugs, Digoxin and Doxycycline.
The US Department of Justice has an ongoing wide-ranging criminal investigation into the price fixing allegations and has issued subpoenas to several generic drug manufacturers.
Widespread Collusion to Fix Generic Drug Prices
The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has convened a grand jury in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to investigate collusion in the industry. This grand jury has issued subpoenas and other requests for information to various generic pharmaceutical manufacturers, including defendants Heritage, Mylan, Sun, Par, Impax, Mayne, Actavis, and Lannett. On December 12 and December 13, 2016, the DOJ filed the first criminal charges stemming from its ongoing investigation.
Investigations into the generic drug industry have shown that manufacturers operate in a way that creates and even encourages routine, direct interactions among competitors. Allegedly during these interactions, representatives of the manufacturers plan and agree to anticompetitive arrangements regarding the price and distribution of generic drugs.
The impact of these illegal agreements is widespread. Sky-high prices for critical generic drugs has caused a harmful and lasting effect on the US healthcare system, forcing consumers and healthcare providers to pay more for drugs that are essential in the treatment of certain illnesses and conditions.
According to one report, the prices of more than 1,200 medications increased by an average of 448% between 2013 and 2014.
The manufacturers point to other factors, such as plant closures and industry consolidation, as the reason for the price increases, but Plaintiffs allege that none of these explanations justify such a dramatic and widespread rise in drug prices.
What are Generic Drugs
Generic drugs are an important part of our healthcare system They are the pharmaceutical equivalents to brand name drugs, and typically cost much less than brand name drug, and can save tens of billions of dollars annually for consumers and the healthcare system.
For decades, the generic drug market has been characterized by healthy competition among manufacturers, which in turn leads to lower prices for consumers. As more generic manufacturers enter the market for a particular drug, prices are pushed lower, usually settling at around 20% of the brand drug price.
Since the early part of this decade, however, the prices of some generic drugs have risen alarmingly. For some drugs, such as Doxycycline and Digoxin, prices have skyrocketed. The prices of many generic drugs have increased by 1,000% or more, sparking public outrage and Congressional investigations into a tight-knit industry.
Companies Accused of Generic Drug Price Fixing
The lawsuits name multiple generic drug manufacturers as parties that engaged in, and in some cases spearheaded, the illegal agreements:
- Mylan Pharmaceuticals
- Teva Pharmaceuticals
- Heritage Pharmaceuticals
- Impax Laboratories
- West-Ward Pharmaceuticals
- Par Pharmaceuticals
- Aurobindo Pharma
- Mayne Pharma
- Sun Pharma
Generic Drugs Involved in Price Fixing
The lawsuits currently coordinated in Pennsylvania federal court identifies two drugs that both saw significant increases in price over a short period of time.
Doxycycline — an important antibiotic used to treat pneumonia, chlamydia, cholera, syphilis, and other diseases — underwent a substantial increase in price in a 6-month period between October 2013 and April 2014. During this period, the price increased over 8,000% from $20 to $1,849.
Digoxin — used for heart conditions including treating heart failure in adults and improving heart function in children — saw a nearly 900% price increase during the same time period, with prices rising from $0.11 to $1.10.
|Other drugs named in additional cases that may soon be coordinated in federal court in Pennsylvania include:|
Generic Drugs Price Fixing Lawsuit News
Our firm is helping to lead the investigation into the anticompetitive and harmful conduct of the generic drug industry. We will be updating our website with the latest news on these lawsuits as new information becomes available.