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Morrisey joins lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies

By CARTER WALKER

Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT, W.Va.  — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Monday that he is joining a multistate lawsuit alleging six pharmaceutical companies colluded to fix prices of generic drugs.

W. Va. Attorney General
Patrick Morrisey

The lawsuit, filed along with attorneys general from Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Missouri and New Mexico, said that the companies had a “well-coordinates and long-running” scheme to fix drug prices and divide the markets amongst themselves. The lawsuit said this is a violation of antitrust laws.

“Failure to comply with antitrust laws hurts consumers and drives up prices,” Morrisey said in a press release. “The allegations raised in this lawsuit are troubling and will be pursued vigorously in court.”

The companies targeted by the lawsuit are Mylan Pharmaceutical Inc., Heritage Pharmaceuticals Inc., Aurobindo Pharma USA Inc., Citron Pharma, LLC, Mayne Pharma (USA) Inc. and Teva Pharmaceutical USA Inc.

The Times West Virginian contacted all six companies, and received two responses to the lawsuit.

A representative for Mylan said “To date, we know of no evidence that Mylan participated in price fixing.”

A representative from Teva said, “Teva denies having engaged in any conduct that would give rise to liability with respect to this lawsuit.”

The multistate suit filed Monday is a companion case to another lawsuit filed by Connecticut Attorney General George Jespen, which was joined by attorneys general of other states.

The lawsuit states that through an investigation conducted by Connecticut, investigators found that officials at the six companies had entered into contracts aimed at artificially inflating prices and reducing competition in the markets of two drugs in particular, Doxycycline and Glyburide.

It said that these deals were made through relationships formed at trade shows and conferences, and codified through industry dinners, “girls’ nights out,” lunches and phone calls.

The companies knew their conduct was unlawful, the lawsuit alleges, and communicated in person or through phone calls to avoid creating a record of their conduct.

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