WASHINGTON Dec 15 Connecticut and 19 other
states filed a lawsuit on Thursday against Mylan NV,
Teva Pharmaceuticals and four other generic drug
makers saying they entered into illegal conspiracies that raised
prices on two common generic drugs, the New York state attorney
general's office said in a statement.
The civil lawsuit is one piece of broader generic drug
pricing probe under way on the state and federal level, as well
as in the U.S. Congress. It has grown over the past two years to
include multiple drugs and companies, some of which have
disclosed they are being investigated by the U.S. Justice
The drugs involved in Thursday's lawsuit are the delayed
release version of a common antibiotic, doxycycline hyclate, and
glyburide, an older drug used to treat diabetes.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Connecticut, also names Australian drugmaker Mayne
Pharma, Heritage Pharmaceuticals Inc, Aurobindo Pharma
and Citron Pharma LLC.
The lawsuit characterized Heritage as the "principal
architect and ringleader" that helped organize a "wide-ranging
series of conspiracies" to fix prices.
It alleges that top executives of the drug companies and
their sales executives propped up the prices of the two drugs by
fixing their prices or allocating markets, the New York attorney
general's office said in the statement.
The states also say in their lawsuit that executives knew
that the conduct was illegal and either deleted emails or made
efforts to avoid communicating in writing.
"Companies that collude and fix prices for generic drugs in
order to pad their profits must be held accountable for the very
real harm they inflict on New Yorkers' ability to pay for
life-saving medications," New York Attorney General Eric
Schneiderman said in a statement.
The state attorneys' investigation into drug price fixing
found evidence of broad, well-coordinated schemes on a number of
generic drugs and is ongoing, according to the complaint.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit this week
against two former Heritage executives alleging that they
colluded to fix the prices of doxycycline hyclate, and to split
up the market for glyburide. Heritage has sued the men in the
Justice lawsuit and accused them to engaging in misconduct.
Generic drug pricing became an issue in 2014, driven in
large part by media reports of sharply rising drug prices, and
Congress opened an investigation.
The lead state in the probe was Connecticut and the other
states involved are Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa,
Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Virginia and Washington.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz and Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by
Caroline Humer Editing by Nick Zieminski)