Lawsuit alleges companies raised price on generic drugs

West Virginia
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February 07 2021 06:00 pm

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined a bipartisan group of 51 attorneys general in filing suit against more than two dozen generic drug manufacturers alleging the companies and 10 senior executives conspired to unlawfully increase prices on some 80 topical prescriptions, including some used to treat various skin conditions, pains and allergies.

Morrisey says the products account for billions of dollars in sales and include generic drugs common to many medicine cabinets, such as creams, gels, lotions, ointments, shampoos and solutions.

“Those who manipulate prices and reduce competition increase the financial burden on families across West Virginia,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Generic drugs are a key aspect of affordable healthcare, and alleged actions such as these selfishly undermine the efforts of so many to keep prices affordable for those in desperate need of prescription drugs. Bad actors must be held accountable.”

The bipartisan lawsuit targets generic drugmakers Taro, Perrigo, and Fougera (now Sandoz), along with Mylan Pharmaceuticals, 22 other corporate entities and 10 individual defendants, according to Morrisey’s office. The lawsuit alleges longstanding agreements among manufacturers to ensure a “fair share” of the market for each competitor and prevent “price erosion” due to competition.

Morrisey says it is estimated that Taro, Perrigo and Fougera accounted for nearly two-thirds of all generic topical products prescribed nationwide from 2007 to 2014.

The lawsuit is built on evidence from several cooperating witnesses, more than 20 million documents and millions of phone records, including call data and contact information for more than 600 sales and pricing individuals in the generics industry, according to Morrisey.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, seeks damages, civil penalties and court action to restore competition to the generic drug market.

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