Illinois is among the plaintiffs in a multistate lawsuit that claims pharmaceutical companies colluded to fix the prices of generic drugs in a scheme that allegedly caused billions of dollars of harm to the national economy.
The suit, led by Connecticut and involving 43 other states and Puerto Rico, was filed against drug company Teva, 19 other manufacturers and 15 individuals allegedly involved in the scheme to keep prices of generic drugs artificially high.
The complaint filed May 10 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut claims Teva and "its co-conspirators embarked on one of the most egregious and damaging price-fixing conspiracies in the history of the United States."
The suit centers its claims on the period from mid-2013 to early 2015, during which time Teva allegedly raised its prices on 112 generic drugs. Of those drugs, the suit says Teva "colluded" with competitors, including named defendants, Sandoz, Mylan and Pfizer, to follow the price increases or not compete on 86 different drugs.
"The price increases varied but included a hike of nearly 1,000 percent," the court filing alleges.
In what the suit describes as "very profitable collusive relationships,” the alleged price-fixing scheme involved a range of drugs and medications including those used to treat simple infections, diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, HIV and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
"Teva had understandings with its highest quality competitors to lead and follow each other’s price increases, and did so with great frequency and success, resulting in many billions of dollars of harm to the national economy," the suit says.
"The allegations in this new complaint, and in the litigation more generally, are just that – allegations,” Kelley Dougherty, a Teva vice president, said in a statement sent to multiple news outlets. “The company delivers high-quality medicines to patients around the world and is committed to complying with all applicable laws and regulations in doing so."
Included in the filing is a reference to the state of Illinois, which "seeks relief, including but not limited to damages, for Illinois consumers and Illinois state entities that paid for one or more of the drugs identified in this complaint during the relevant period and thereby paid more than they would have paid but for defendants’ unlawful conduct."