Some Washington lawmakers are urging the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to launch a criminal investigation into U.S. generic drug manufacturers to find out if their executives conspired to raise their drug prices at the expense of the American consumer.
A recent lawsuit filed last month by a group of forty-four states, alleges that 20 major drug manufacturers conspired to artificially inflate and manipulate the prices of more than 100 generic drugs, with the companies making billions of dollars in the process.
According to lawmakers, “Executives at Teva Pharmaceuticals allegedly orchestrated a sophisticated scheme to collude surreptitiously with competitors, artificially inflate the prices of over a hundred generic drugs, and destroy evidence of criminal conduct.”
Teva is one of the largest makers of generic drugs in the world. They have denied any wrongdoing and said it has been cooperating with the DOJ.
According to the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM), a trade group that represents generic drug manufacturers, said it “believes in compliance with all competition and antitrust laws.”
“We take all instances of illegal behavior seriously. Anyone convicted of violating these laws should be punished appropriately,” the group said in a statement. “Vigorous, ethical competition is the foundation of the generic drug and biosimilar industry.
The competition allows our companies to drive enormous savings and pass them on to patients and taxpayers.”
The civil suit alleges that Teva and nineteen additional generic drug manufacturers conspired to increase their prices, affecting Medicare and Medicaid, the health insurance market, and individuals. The current lawsuit named 15 senior executive defendants responsible for sales, marketing, pricing, and operations.
The generic drug companies have denied allegations of wrongdoing.
According to the lawsuit, the prices of more than 1,200 generic medications increased an average of 448 percent from July 2013 and July 2014.
The Leader Law Firm is not involved in the multi-state lawsuit.