Connecticut is one of 20 states filing a lawsuit against several pharmaceutical companies over conspiracies to manipulate prices, restrain trade and reduce competition.
The federal suit, announced by Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen on Thursday, named drug makers Heritage Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Aurobindo Pharma USA, Inc., Citron Pharma, LLC, Mayne Pharma (USA), Inc., Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.
Jepsen said the suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.
“My office has dedicated significant resources to this investigation for more than two years and has developed compelling evidence of collusion and anticompetitive conduct across many companies that manufacture and market generic drugs in the United States,” Jepsen said. “While the principal architect of the conspiracies addressed in this lawsuit was Heritage Pharmaceuticals, we have evidence of widespread participation in illegal conspiracies across the generic drug industry."
Jepsen said it was consumers and the healthcare system as a whole who paid for the actions through artificially high prices for generic drugs.
"We intend to pursue this and other enforcement actions aggressively, and look forward to working with our colleagues across the country to restore competition and integrity to this important market," he said.
Last year, generic drug sales in the U.S. were estimated at $74.5 billion. The generic pharmaceutical industry accounts for about 88 percent of all prescriptions written in the country.
Connecticut initiated the investigation in 2014 into suspicious price increases.
Investigators said they found evidence of a well-coordinated and long-running conspiracy to fix prices and allocate markets for for doxycycline hyclate delayed release and glyburide.
Jepsen said the suit states that the conspiracy was carried out by senior executives, along with subordinate marketing and sales executives, in the companies.
Evidence also suggests that the schemes were coordinated with their competitors at trade shows, customer conferences and other events.
Along with Connecticut, the suit includes Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.
The full complaint, some of which was redacted, can be found here.
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