Connecticut AG Releases Unredacted Generic Drug Price Fixing Complaint
Posted 24 June 2019 | By
Following a court motion to unseal the unredacted complaint against 20 generic drugmakers, including Teva Pharmaceuticals, Novartis’ Sandoz and Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong on Monday released the more than 500-page document.
A partially redacted version of the complaint, released in May
, alleges that the drugmakers worked together to conspire with each other to set prices of more than 100 generic drugs.
Specifically, the complaint calls out Teva, saying that between July 2013 and January 2015, Teva significantly raised prices on approximately 112 different generic drugs and raised the prices in tandem with competitors on at least 86 of them. “The size of the price increases varied, but a number of them were well over 1,000%,” the complaint says.
The newly released portions of the complaint also show how a Teva director created a ranking system of competitors based on how willing they were to collude or work with Teva. And when a competitor raised a generic price, Teva sought to follow such competitors with its own increases.
The unredacted complaint also shows how Heritage Pharmaceuticals sought to send “’polite f-u’ letters” to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) after the lawmakers began to investigate generic drug price increases in 2014.
Other emails show how companies divided up certain markets.
For instance, after Mylan won 180-day exclusivity as the first generic sponsor for valsartan, the company coordinated with Sandoz, which manufactured the authorized generic version of the drug, to divide up the market so they would each receive about 50%. A senior executive of Sandoz reportedly said in an email: “I guess this is what they call ‘co-opetition.’” Details of Sandoz meetings also show how the firm was reluctant to try to gain new valsartan business or “disrupt the market.”