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Mylan’s parent company says facts don’t support price-fixing charge

By RUSTY MARKS

The State Journal

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — A spokesperson for Mylan N.V., parent company of Morgantown-based Mylan Pharmaceuticals, said executives don’t believe the allegations that Mylan was involved in an international price-fixing scheme for generic drugs.

Mylan President Rajiv Malik
(Photo courtesy Mylan.com)

On Tuesday, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen led attorneys general in 45 other states in naming Mylan N.V. President Rajiv Malik and Emcure Pharmaceuticals CEO Satish Mehta to a year-old lawsuit alleging Mylan, Emcure and six other drug manufacturers conspired to keep prices artificially high on 15 generic medications.

Mehta allegedly “took active steps to facilitate an illegal conspiracy” by personally reaching out to Malik at Mylan to push forward discussions that involved fixing prices for antibiotic doxycycline hyclate delayed release, according to the attorneys general.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who originally accused Mylan Pharmaceuticals and five other drug manufacturers of price fixing in July, also signed on to the expanded suit.

“Companies that do not comply with antitrust laws must be held accountable for their actions,” Morrisey said. “Antitrust violations drive up prices for the consumer, and in this instance, it impacts those in desperate need of prescription drugs.”

West Virginia-based Mylan went global in 2007, buying out German pharmaceutical giant Merck’s generic drug business and India-based Matrix Laboratories Ltd., a major producer of ingredients for making generic drugs. Mylan lists its corporate headquarters in the Netherlands.

Malik, former CEO of Matrix Laboratories, joined Mylan in 2007, when Mylan acquired Matrix. He succeeded current Mylan CEO Heather Bresch as president of the company in 2012.

Lauren Kashtan, head of North American communications for Mylan, issued a statement from the company on Tuesday.

“We have been investigating these allegations thoroughly and have found no evidence of price fixing on the part of Mylan or its employees,” the statement says. “Our review of the Connecticut Attorney General’s press release underpinning the complaint does not change our views.

“We have asked the various attorneys general leading this case to share with us what information they believe supports these new allegations and, to date, they have not done so,” the statement said. “Mylan has deep faith in the integrity of its President, Rajiv Malik, and stands behind him fully. Mylan and Rajiv Malik both intend to defend this case vigorously, and we look forward to the opportunity to present a full defense.

“Mylan takes its legal obligations seriously and operates with the highest levels of integrity and character,” the statement concluded. “Mylan expects to have no further comment while the matter is pending.”

Staff Writer Rusty Marks can be reached at 304-415-1480 or email at [email protected]

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