Tags: mylan | teva | drug prices | fixing

US States Sue Mylan, Teva, Others for Fixing Drug Prices

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Thursday, 15 Dec 2016 12:39 PM

Twenty states filed a lawsuit Thursday against Mylan NV, Teva Pharmaceuticals and four other generic drug makers, saying they conspired on pricing of two common generic drugs, according to a copy of the complaint.

The civil lawsuit is one piece of a broader generic drug pricing probe that remains under way at the state and federal level, as well as in the U.S. Congress. The inquiries have grown over the past two years to include multiple drugs and companies, some of which have disclosed they are being investigated by the Justice Department.

The drugs involved in Thursday's lawsuit include the delayed release version of a common antibiotic, doxycycline hyclate; and glyburide, an older drug used to treat diabetes.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, names Heritage Pharmaceuticals Inc as a "ring leader" of the price manipulation, and also lists Mayne Pharma, Aurobindo Pharma and Citron Pharma LLC as participants.

Asked for comment on Thursday, a spokesman for Heritage referred to their comment from the previous day, which blamed the former executives for the price-fixing and said that they had been terminated. Heritage is part of Indian company Emcure Pharmaceuticals.

Mylan denied the charge. "To date, we know of no evidence that Mylan participated in price fixing," Mylan spokeswoman Nina Devlin said by email.

Teva spokeswoman Denise Bradley said by email that the company had just received the complaint and was reviewing it.

The other three companies had no immediate comment.

Teva shares were off 0.4 percent at $36.84 in New York trading. Mylan's rose 0.9 percent at $38.01. Mylan has also come under fire for hiking the price of the Epipen to $600 for a two-pack, from $100.

The lawsuit alleges that top executives of the drug companies and their sales executives propped up the prices of the two drugs either by setting the prices or allocating markets, the New York attorney general's office said in the statement.

The states also say in their lawsuit that executives knew that the conduct was illegal and either deleted emails or made efforts to avoid communicating in writing.

"Companies that collude and fix prices for generic drugs in order to pad their profits must be held accountable for the very real harm they inflict on New Yorkers' ability to pay for life-saving medications," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.

The state attorneys' investigation into drug price fixing found evidence of broad, well-coordinated schemes on a number of generic drugs and is ongoing, according to the complaint.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit this week against two former Heritage executives alleging that they colluded to fix the prices of doxycycline hyclate, and to split up the market for glyburide.

Generic drug pricing became an issue in 2014, driven in large part by media reports of sharply rising drug prices, and Congress opened an investigation.

The lead state in the probe was Connecticut and the other states involved are Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.

 

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Twenty states filed a lawsuit Thursday against Mylan NV, Teva Pharmaceuticals and four other generic drug makers, saying they conspired on pricing of two common generic drugs, according to a copy of the complaint.
mylan, teva, drug prices, fixing
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2016-39-15
Thursday, 15 Dec 2016 12:39 PM
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