44 of the 50 states of the United States of America are suing a collection of drug companies for allegedly inflating the prices of prescription drugs. The sweeping lawsuit alleges that drug companies conspired to inflate the prices of more than a hundred different drugs. Among the drugs are those which treat HIV, asthma, depression, learning disabilities and more.
Pfizer, Mylan, Novartis, and Teva have all been named in the lawsuit. In total, more than a dozen generic drug companies and numerous executives were identified in the suit.
According to the lawsuit, executives at various pharmaceutical companies secretly conspired to fix prices, which is illegal. In order to cover their tracks, most of the executives avoided written records. Instead, they used golf outings, luncheons, conferences and the like to coordinate efforts.
Reportedly, the drug companies sought to maintain what they thought were “fair shares” of the generic drugs market. The lawsuit purports that the bulk of the collusion occurred between July of 2013 and January of 2015. During this time frame one drug company, Teva, raised prices on roughly 400 formulates of 112 different drugs.
Teva has been identified as the leader in the conspiracy. However, prosecutors claim that the conspiracy was industry-wide. With 44 states signed onto the case, it could become one of the biggest legal battles in history with implications that could reshape the entire pharmaceutical industry. Teva and other drug companies are denying the allegations.