Attorney General Morrisey Releases Newly Unsealed Evidence in Price Fixing Case Against Teva, Mylan and 18 Generic Drug Makers

Updated 3 weeks ago Edited from a Press Release
CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined a broad coalition of attorneys general Monday in releasing the full, unsealed complaint against some of the nation’s largest generic drug makers.

 
The lawsuit, initially filed in May, alleges generic drug makers, including Mylan Pharmaceuticals, conspired with Teva Pharmaceuticals and each other as 20 manufacturers engaged in a broad scheme to artificially inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition and unreasonably restrain trade for more than 100 different generic drugs.
 
The new evidence, unsealed Monday by court order, reveals specific instances by which the attorneys general allege generic drug manufacturers coordinated their efforts in a brazen manner.
 
“The skyrocketing price of health care remains a paramount concern, and any company found to artificially inflate and manipulate prices must be held accountable,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The unredacted complaint allows the public to see in shocking detail the degree to which we allege the defendants sought to reduce competition to the detriment of West Virginia patients.”
 
Co-opetition: A series of unsealed email exchanges show senior executives at Mylan and Sandoz Inc. allegedly colluded to divvy up market share for a blood pressure medication. Both companies were the first to launch generic Valsartan on the same day, September 12, 2012. Leading up to the launch, records show company representatives spoke at least 21 times by phone to divvy up the market so that each competitor could obtain roughly 50 percent market share. The attorneys general point to emails alleging company executives were pleased with the conspiracy, including a Sandoz executive who states, “sometimes a little help from our competition is welcome as well.” Another senior executive replied: “I guess this is what they call ‘co-opetition.’”
 
High Quality Competitors: Unsealed rankings and charts allegedly detail how a Teva executive implemented price increases by systematically conspiring with Teva's competitors and maintaining a ranking system of Teva's competitors based on their collusive relationships, with +3 assigned to the most collusive and -3 assigned to the least.
 
Code Words Revealed: The unredacted complaint reveals commonly used code words allegedly used by coconspirators, such as “fair share,” “playing nice in the sandbox” and “fluff pricing.”
 
The May lawsuit, brought by 44 attorneys general, also names 15 individual senior executive defendants at the heart of the alleged conspiracy who were responsible for sales, marketing, pricing and operations, including James Nesta, vice president of sales at Mylan.
 
It alleges 20 of the nation’s largest generic drug makers engaged in a broad, coordinated and systematic campaign to conspire with each other to fix prices, allocate markets and rig bids. This alleged collusion involved lunches, cocktail parties and golf outings, as well as frequent communication via phone calls, text messages and emails.
 
The drugs at issue account for billions of dollars of sales in the United States, and the alleged schemes increased prices affecting the health insurance market and individuals who must pay artificially-inflated prices for their prescription drugs.
 
Those drugs include medications to treat or manage depression, diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, HIV, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a host of other conditions.
 
Other pharmaceutical companies named as defendants are Sandoz Inc.; Actavis Holdco US Inc.; Actavis Pharma Inc.; Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Apotex Corp.; Aurobindo Pharma U.S.A. Inc.; Breckenridge Pharmaceutical Inc.; Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Inc.; Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Greenstone LLC; Lannett Company Inc.; Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Par Pharmaceutical Companies Inc.; Pfizer Inc.; Taro Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.; Upsher-Smith Laboratories LLC; Wockhardt USA LLC; and Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA) Inc.
 
It represents the second of two lawsuits brought by West Virginia, Connecticut and a majority of attorneys general across the nation.
 
West Virginia joined the most recent, Connecticut-led filing with Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
 
Read the unredacted complaint and see a full list of individual defendants athttps://bit.ly/2Lda3Rr.
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