(Natural News) On December 15, the Attorneys General of 20 separate states filed suit in federal court against six separate pharmaceutical companies, accusing them of violating federal antitrust laws by conspiring to fix prices to the detriment of consumers and the health care system as a whole.
The suit, which names companies including Heritage and Mylan, is the result of a two-year long investigation by the federal Department of Justice. It centers around manipulation of the prices of two generic drugs — the antibiotic doxycycline hyclate (Doxy DR) and the diabetes drug glyburide — but Pennsylvania Attorney General Bruce Beemer said the companies involved are still being investigated to see if they did the same with other drugs.
It seems like a cut-and-dried case of Big Pharma price gouging, but there is another angle to the story. Noting another recent case that did not end in federal prosecution, the Anti Mediawriter Alice Salles suggests that the companies’ major error in this case wasn’t engaging in price fixing … it was doing so without the endorsement of Congress.
According to the federal complaint, the price-fixing scheme was concocted and led by former executives of Heritage Pharmaceuticals. These executives and the executives of Mylan, Mayne, Aurobindo, Teva and Citron then engaged in “numerous illegal conspiracies in order to unreasonably restrain trade, artificially inflate and manipulate prices and reduce competition,” according to the New York Attorney General’s office. They coordinated directly with each other on pricing and competition decisions via phone calls, text messages and meetings at trade shows. (RELATED: Read Corruption.news for more reports of conspiracies and corruption.)
The suit says that the companies kept prices artificially high by agreeing to avoid competing with each other in certain markets. For example, Heritage and Mylan executives divided up the market share for Doxy DR in order to avoid a price war that would lead to both companies having to charge lower prices. Thus, Mylan agreed to “walk away” from selling to a large national wholesaler and a large pharmacy chain, allowing Heritage to have those companies’ business uncontested.
The plaintiffs claim that the companies knew their actions were illegal. They point to the fact that as soon as the investigation began, the companies began trying to hide their actions and the evidence of their intentions. (Click to Article)