Complaint Names 26 Corporate Defendants in Conspiracy to Fix Prices and Allocate Markets
MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Kaul joined a coalition of 50 states led in filing the third lawsuit stemming from the ongoing antitrust investigation into a widespread conspiracy by generic drug manufacturers to artificially inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition, and unreasonably restrain trade for generic drugs sold across the United States.
This new complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, focuses on 80 topical generic drugs that account for billions of dollars of sales in the United States and names 26 corporate Defendants. The lawsuit seeks damages, civil penalties, and actions by the court to restore competition to the generic drug market.
“Wisconsinites shouldn’t have to pay more for their medications because prices are artificially inflated, rather than the product of fair competition in the market,” said Attorney General Kaul. “The Wisconsin Department of Justice is continuing to take action to fight anti-competitive practices.”
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 complaint stems from an ongoing investigation built on evidence from several cooperating witnesses at the core of the conspiracy, a massive document 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. Among the records obtained by the States is a two-volume notebook containing the contemporaneous notes of one of the States’ cooperators that memorialized his discussions during phone calls with competitors and internal company meetings over a period of several years.
Between 2007 and 2014, three generic drug manufacturers, Taro, Perrigo, and Fougera (now Sandoz) sold nearly two-thirds of all generic topical products dispensed in the United States. The multistate investigation has uncovered comprehensive, direct evidence of unlawful agreements to minimize competition and raise prices on dozens of topical products. The complaint alleges longstanding agreements among manufacturers to ensure a “fair share” of the market for each competitor, and to prevent “price erosion” due to competition.
The complaint is the third to be filed in an ongoing, expanding investigation that the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General has referred to as possibly the largest domestic corporate cartel case in the history of the United States. The first complaint, still pending in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, was filed in 2016 and now includes 18 corporate Defendants, two individual Defendants, and 15 generic drugs. Two former executives from Heritage Pharmaceuticals, Jeffery Glazer and Jason Malek, have entered into settlement agreements and are cooperating with the Attorneys General working group in that case. The second complaint, also pending in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, was filed in 2019 against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 of the nation’s largest generic drug manufacturers. The complaint names 16 individual senior executive Defendants. The States are currently preparing for trial on that complaint.
- Sandoz, Inc.
- 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.
- Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc.
- Taro Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.
- Teligent, Inc.
- Wockhardt USA, LLC
Drugs listed in the complaint as subject to price-fixing and market allocation agreements:
- Acetazolamide Tablets
- Adapalene Cream
- Alclometasone Dipropionate Cream
- Alclometasone Dipropionate Ointment
- Ammonium Lactate Cream
- Ammonium Lactate Lotion
- Betamethasone Dipropionate Cream
- Betamethasone Dipropionate Lotion
- Betamethasone Valerate Cream
- Betamethasone Valerate Lotion
- Betamethasone Valerate Ointment
- Bromocriptine Mesylate Tablets
- Calcipotriene Solution
- Calcipotriene Betamethasone Dipropionate Ointment
- Carbamazepine ER Tablets
- Cefpodoxime Proxetil Oral Suspension
- Cefpodoxime Proxetil Tablets
- Ciclopirox Cream
- Ciclopirox Shampoo
- Ciclopirox Solution
- Clindamycin Phosphate Cream
- Clindamycin Phosphate Gel
- Clindamycin Phosphate Lotion
- Clindamycin Phosphate Solution
- Clobetasol Propionate Cream
- Clobetasol Propionate Emollient Cream
- Clobetasol Propionate Gel
- Clobetasol Propionate Ointment
- Clobetasol Propionate Solution
- Clotrimazole 1% Cream
- Clotrimazole Betamethasone Dipropionate Cream
- Clotrimazole Betamethasone Dipropionate Lotion
- Desonide Cream
- Desonide Lotion
- Desonide Ointment
- Desoximetasone Ointment
- Econazole Nitrate Cream
- Eplerenone Tablets
- Erythromycin Base/Ethyl Alcohol Solution
- Ethambutol HCL Tablets
- Fluocinolone Acetonide Cream
- Fluocinolone Acetonide Ointment
- Fluocinonide .1% Cream
- Fluocinonide Gel
- Fluocinonide Ointment
- Fluocinonide Solution
- Fluticasone Propionate Lotion
- Griseofulvin Microsize Tablets
- Halobetasol Propionate Cream
- Halobetasol Propionate Ointment
- Hydrocortisone Acetate Suppositories
- Hydrocortisone Valerate Cream
- Imiquimod Cream
- Ketoconazole Cream
- Latanoprost Drops
- Lidocaine Ointment
- Methazolamide Tablets
- Methylphenidate HCL Tablets
- Methylphenidate HCL ER Tablets
- Metronidazole Cream
- Metronidazole .75% Gel
- Metronidazole .1% Gel
- Metronidazole Lotion
- Mometasone Furoate Cream
- Mometasone Furoate Ointment
- Mometasone Furoate Solution
- Nafcillin Sodium Injectable Vials
- Nystatin Ointment
- Nystatin Triamcinolone Cream
- Nystatin Triamcinolone Ointment
- Oxacillin Sodium Injectable Vials
- Phenytoin Sodium ER Capsules
- Pioglitazone HCL Metformin HCL Tablets
- Prochlorperazine Maleate Suppositories
- Promethazine HCL Suppositories
- Tacrolimus Ointment
- Terconazole Cream
- Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream
- Triamcinolone Acetonide Ointment
- Triamcinolone Acetonide Paste
Attorney General Kaul joined the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Territory of Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, 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, and West Virginia in filing the complaint.