Nebraska joins 43 other states in lawsuit alleging drug manufacturers conspired to inflate prices
Nebraska has joined 43 other states in a lawsuit claiming that nearly two-dozen of the nation's largest generic drug manufacturers conspired to inflate prices of more than 100 different generic drugs.
Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson joined the the lawsuit, which alleges Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 other manufacturers worked together to fix prices, rig bids and allocate markets. It also names 15 senior executives from the companies.
"The drugs that issue account for billions of dollars worth of sales in the United States," Assistant Attorney General, Shereece Dendy-Sanders said. "These increased prices impact health plans, tax payer health plans such as Medicare and Medicaid and also impact the amount that we pay as everyday citizens."
In some instances, drug prices were inflated by up to 1,000 percent.
According to the complaint, the drugs include tablets, capsules, suspensions, creams, gels, ointments, and classes, including statins, ace inhibitors, beta blockers, antibiotics, anti-depressants, contraceptives, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and treat a range of diseases and conditions from basic infections to diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, HIV, ADHD, and more.
"The generic drug industry accounts for 90% of all prescriptions written," Dendy-Sanders said. "In most states including Nebraska, there is an automatic substitution for prescriptions unless the prescriber writes that the drug must be dispensed as written."
The lawsuit was filed in the United States district court in Connecticut. All of the states apart of the lawsuit will be working together. Peterson is involved with making decisions and helping with a strategic plan as they move forward.
"The generic drug industry is suppose to bring cost savings to healthcare consumers, it is our hope that with this lawsuit we can end the defendants anti-competitive behavior and bring that cost savings to citizens in Nebraska and across the nation," Dendy-Sanders said.
The complaint details what prosecutors call illegal agreements through "industry dinners, “girls’ nights out,” lunches, cocktail parties, golf outings, and frequent communication via telephone calls, emails and text messages."
Defendants also use terms like “fair share,” “playing nice in the sandbox,” and “responsible competitor” to describe how they unlawfully discouraged competition, raised prices and enforced an ingrained culture of collusion, according to the complaint.
Please click here to find the complaint.