Global news reports have highlighted a lawsuit in 44 states in the US for price-fixing and collusion among several large pharmaceutical companies. Following for the shares fell for Teva, Mylan, Novartis, Sandoz, Pfizer and others. Over 100 pharmaceutical products linked to the lawsuit includes drugs such as lamivudine-zidovudine for H.I.V. treatment; budesonide for asthma; fenofibrate for high cholesterol treatment; amphetamine-dextroamphetamine for A.D.H.D.; and also oral antibiotics, blood thinners, cancer drugs, contraceptives and antidepressants. Most of the defendants in the lawsuit deny the allegations. The New Jersey attorney general, Gurbir S. Grewal, stated that, “[w]e all know that prescription drugs can be expensive. Now we know that high drug prices have been driven in part by an illegal conspiracy among generic drug companies to inflate their prices.”
The Connecticut attorney-general, Mr. William Tong, leads the 44-state investigation which likely run for several years. According to the legal filing published by the Attorneys General, a summary of the case has stated that “Teva and its co-conspirators embarked on one of the most egregious and damaging price-fixing conspiracies in the history of the United States”, including, “resulting in many billions of dollars of harm to the national economy over a period of several years”. Unfortunately, these crimes continue from large companies due to the “cost of business” – this has been reported by news media, reports, legal findings and books for decades in which fines for these crimes are usually negligible compared to the profits earned.
In a statement from Mr. Tong, “these are drugs that people in this country rely on every day for acute and chronic conditions and diseases from diabetes and cancer to depression and arthritis. We all wonder why our healthcare, and specifically the prices for generic prescription drugs, are so expensive in this country — this is a big reason why”.