Twenty more states have joined the Connecticut-led antitrust lawsuit that alleges six generic drugmakers entered into illegal conspiracies in order to unreasonably restrain trade, artificially inflate and manipulate prices and reduce competition in the U.S. for two generic drugs.
Connecticut is leading the multistate group of plaintiff states, which in December totaled 20 states and now numbers 40. Participants now include Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
In July 2014, Connecticut initiated an investigation of the reasons behind suspicious price increases of certain generic pharmaceuticals. The ongoing investigation uncovered evidence of what Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen’s office described as a “well-coordinated and long-running conspiracy to fix prices and allocate markets for doxycycline hyclate delayed release, an antibiotic, and glyburide, an oral diabetes medication.”
The complaint further alleges that the defendants routinely coordinated their schemes through direct interaction with their competitors at industry trade shows, customer conferences and other events, as well as through direct email, phone and text message communications. The alleged anticompetitive conduct – including efforts to fix and maintain prices, allocate markets and otherwise thwart competition – caused significant, harmful and continuing effects in the country’s healthcare system, the states allege.
The lawsuit was filed under seal in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.