|TRENTON -- Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced today that New Jersey has joined a multi-state federal lawsuit alleging that six generic drug manufacturing companies conspired to unreasonably restrain trade, artificially inflate and manipulate prices and reduce competition in the U.S. for two generic drugs.
An amended complaint filed today with the U.S. District Court in Connecticut increases from 20 to 40 the number of plaintiff states in the lawsuit, which was initially filed in December 2016. New Jersey is among the added states. The six defendant companies are Heritage Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Aurobindo Pharma USA, Inc., Citron Pharma, LLC, Mayne Pharma (USA), Inc., Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.
The amended complaint adds allegations of state antitrust law violations – in addition to the federal antitrust claims alleged in the original lawsuit – and alleges violation of state consumer protection laws in most of the participating states, including New Jersey.
In July 2014, Connecticut authorities launched an investigation into suspicious price increases relative to certain generic pharmaceuticals. The investigation, which remains ongoing with regard to numerous generic drugs, generic drug companies and key executives, uncovered evidence of a well-coordinated and long-running conspiracy to fix prices and allocate markets for two drugs – doxycycline hyclate delayed release (an antibiotic) and glyburide (an oral diabetes medication.)
The lawsuit 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.
This anti-competitive 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 amended complaint alleges.
The multi-state lawsuit announced today was filed under seal with the federal court. Portions of the complaint are redacted in order to avoid compromising the ongoing investigation.
Deputy Attorney General Russell Smith, Deputy Attorney General Jodie Van Wert and Deputy Attorney General Patricia Schiripo, Assistant Section Chief of the Division of Law’s Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section, handled the matter on behalf of the State.
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