Coalition of Attorney Generals Sue 26 Pharmaceutical Companies & 10 Others on Price-Fixing 80 Drugs

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The following is a press release from the Massachusetts attorney general’s office submitted to SOURCE media.

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BOSTON – Alleging a widespread conspiracy to inflate and manipulate the prices of dozens of generic drugs, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced today that she has joined a coalition of state attorneys general in filing a lawsuit against 26 drug makers and 10 pharmaceutical executives.

The complaint, filed today, June 10, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, alleges these drug makers engaged in longstanding agreements to coordinate and fix prices of 80 primarily dermatological generic medications, including creams, gels, lotions, ointments, shampoos, and solutions used to treat a variety of skin conditions, pain, and allergies.

“Generic drug manufacturers have actively worked together to fix prices and manipulate the market in order to boost their profits,” said Healey. “We are taking action to hold these companies accountable and ensure that these medications continue to provide an affordable option for people who need them most.”

The complaint alleges that between 2007 and 2014, three generic drug manufacturers, Taro Pharmaceuticals U.S.A, Inc., Perrigo New York, Inc., and Fougera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now Sandoz, Inc.), which together sold nearly two-thirds of all generic topical products dispensed in the United States, used unlawful agreements among themselves and other defendants to minimize competition and raise prices on dozens of topical products.

The complaint alleges that defendant manufacturers used language in communications, such as allocating a “fair share” of the market for each competitor, and preventing “price erosion” from competition, to engage in a systematic campaign to conspire with each other.

The lawsuit stems from an ongoing investigation built on evidence from several cooperating witnesses at the core of the conspiracy, a massive database of over 20 million documents, and a phone records database containing millions of call detail records and contact information for over 600 sales and pricing individuals in the generics industry.

The complaint names the following corporate defendants:

Actavis Holdco U.S., Inc.

Actavis Elizabeth LLC

Actavis Pharma, Inc.

Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Amneal Pharmaceuticals, LLC

Aurobindo Pharma USA, Inc.

Bausch Health Americas, Inc.

Bausch Health, US LLC

Fougera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

G&W Laboratories, Inc.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc., USA

Greenstone LLC

Lannett Company, Inc.

Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Mallinckrodt Inc.

Mallinckrodt plc

Mallinckrodt LLC

Mylan Inc.

Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Perrigo New York, Inc.

Pfizer, Inc.

Sandoz, Inc.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc.

Taro Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.

Teligent, Inc.

Wockhardt USA, LLC

The complaint also names the following individuals as defendants:

Ara Aprahamian, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Taro Pharmaceuticals.

Mitchell Blashinsky, Vice President of Marketing for Generics at Taro Pharmaceuticals from January 2007 through May 2012, and Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Glenmark from June 2012 through March 2014.

Douglas Boothe, Chief Executive Officer of Actavis from August 2008 through December 2012 and Executive Vice President and General Manager of Defendant Perrigo from January 2013 through July 2016.

James Grauso, former Vice President of Sales and Marketing atG&W Laboratories from January 2010 through December 2011; the Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations for Aurobindo from December 2011 through January 2014; and the Executive Vice President, N.A. Commercial Operations at Glenmark from February 2014 to the present.

Walt Kaczmarek, Senior Director, National Accounts, Vice President, National Accounts and Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations from November 2004 through November 2012 for Fougera Pharmaceuticals, a division of Nycomed US, Inc. (currently part of Sandoz, Inc.), and Vice President – General Manager, and President, Multi-Source Pharmaceuticals from November 2013 through August 2016 for Mallinckrodt.

Armando Kellum, former Vice President, Contracting and Business Analytics at Sandoz.

Kurt Orlofski, President and Chief Executive Officer from April 2007 through August 2009 for Wockhardt USA, and President of G&W Labs, Inc. from September 2009 through December 2016. 

Mike Perfetto, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Actavis from August 2003 through January 2013, and the Chief Commercial Officer for Taro from January 2013 through his recent retirement from the company.

Erika Vogel-Baylor, former Vice President for Sales and Marketing for G&W Labs, Inc. since July 2011.

John Wesolowski, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations for Perrigo since February 2004.

 Today’s lawsuit seeks damages, civil penalties, and actions by the court to restore competition to the generic drug market.

AG Healey previously joined a similar lawsuit in 2016 against six generic pharmaceutical companies and another lawsuit in May 2019 against 20 generic drug makers, both of which are pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Today’s lawsuit, led by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, was also joined by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Territory of Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

  In the Massachusetts AG’s Office, this matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General and Division Chief Will Matlack, Assistant Attorney General and Deputy Division Chief Michael MacKenzie, and Assistant Attorney General Daniel Leff, all of the AG’s Antitrust Division

editor

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