FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron Wednesday joined a 51-state and territory coalition in filing a lawsuit, resulting from an ongoing antitrust investigation, into generic drug manufacturers. The lawsuit, which is the third suit filed by the coalition, names 26 corporate defendants and 10 individual defendants in a conspiracy to artificially inflate and manipulate prices for over 80 generic dermatological drugs sold across the United States.
“It is unacceptable for Kentuckians to be forced to pay more for generic drugs because of illegal price-fixing by drug manufacturers who should be providing affordable alternatives to brand name products,” said Cameron. “Our office is fighting to restore free-market competition within the industry to ensure quality generic drugs are available to Kentuckians at a fair price.”
The topical drugs at the center of the complaint include creams, gels, lotions, ointments, shampoos, and solutions used to treat a variety of skin conditions, pain, and allergies. The lawsuit seeks damages, civil penalties, and actions by the court to restore competition to the generic drug market.
The lawsuit stems from a multistate investigation built on evidence from several cooperating witnesses, a database of over 20 million documents, and a phone records database containing millions of call records and contact information for over 600 sales and pricing individuals in the generics industry.
Between 2007 and 2014, three of the generic drug manufacturers named in the lawsuit, Taro, Perrigo, and Fougera (now Sandoz), sold nearly two-thirds of all generic topical products dispensed in the United States. Results from the coalition’s multistate investigation uncovered evidence that drug manufacturers attempted to ensure “fair share” of the market for each competitor and to prevent “price erosion” due to competition by entering into unlawful agreements. The agreements among drug manufacturers minimized competition and increased some topical drug prices up to 2,000 percent.
This complaint is the third to be filed in an ongoing investigation that has been referred to as possibly the largest domestic corporate cartel case in the history of the United States.
Cameron joined attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Territory of Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, 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 filing the lawsuit.
To view a copy of the complaint click here.