BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced a multistate lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 of the nation’s largest generic drug manufacturers.
The lawsuit alleges a broad conspiracy to “artificially inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition and unreasonable restrain trade for more than 100 different generic drugs.”
The lawsuit also names 15 individual senior executives as defendants in the middle of the conspiracy who they say were responsible for sales, marketing, pricing and operations.
The complaint alleges that Teva, Sandoz, Mylan, Pfizer and 16 other generic drug manufacturers engaged in a “broad, coordinated and systematic campaign to conspire with each other to fix prices, allocate markets and rig bids for more than 100 different generic drugs,”
The drugs span all types, the complaint said, including tabletes, capsules, suspensions, creams, gels, ointments, and classes, including statins, ace inhibitors, beta blockers, antibiotics, anti-depressants, contraceptives, non-steroidal anti-flammatory drugs, and treat a range of diseases.
They said in some cases, the coordinated price increases were over 1,000 percent.
The complaint laid out a network of industry executives where the competitors met with each other during industry dinners, “girls night out,” lunches, cocktail parties, golf outings, and communicated through telephone calls, emails and text messages.
The defendants allegedly used terms including, “fair share,” “playing nice in the sandbox,” and “responsible competitor” to describe how they, according to the complaint, unlawfully discouraged competition, raised prices and enforced an “ingrained culture of collusion”.
The lawsuit seeks damages, equitable relief to restore competition to the market for generic drugs and civil penalties potentially into the billions of dollars.
“Our complaint alleges that these companies and individuals engaged in an old fashioned price fixing conspiracy. The drugs in question are used by millions of people for conditions that range from diabetes to cancer to depression, and we allege that their scheme cheated vulnerable patients, the State of Maryland and health insurance programs to the tune of billions of dollars,” said Attorney General Frosh.
- Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.
- Sandoz, Inc.
- Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.
- Actavis Holdco US, Inc.
- Actavis Pharma, Inc.
- Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Apotex Corp.
- Aurobindo Pharma U.S.A., Inc.
- Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc.
- Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc.
- Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc. USA
- 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
- Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA), Inc.
- Ara Aprahamian, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Taro Pharmaceuticals U.S.A, Inc.
- David Berthold, Vice President of Sales at Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- James Brown, Vice President of Sales at Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.\
- Maureen Cavanaugh, former Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, North America, for Teva
- Marc Falkin, former Vice President, Marketing, Pricing and Contracts at Actavis
- James Grauso, former Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations for Aurobindo from December 2011 through January 2014. Since February 2014, Grauso has been employed as the Executive Vice President, N.A. Commercial Operations at Glenmark
- Kevin Green, former Director of National Accounts at Teva from January 2006 through October 2013. Since November 2013, Green has worked at Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA) Inc. as the Vice President of Sales
- Armando Kellum, former Vice President, Contracting and Business Analytics at Sandoz
- Jill Nailor, Senior Director of Sales and National Accounts at Greenstone
- James Nesta, Vice President of Sales at Mylan
- Kon Ostaficiuk, the President of Camber Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Nisha Patel, former Director of Strategic Customer Marketing and later, Director of National Accounts at Teva.
- David Rekenthaler, former Vice President, Sales US Generics at Teva
- Richard Rogerson, former Executive Director of Pricing and Business Analytics at Actavis
- Tracy Sullivan DiValerio, Director of National Accounts at Lannett
Maryland was joined by the attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico.