Forty-three states, including Montana, and one territory file a lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 of the nation's largest generic drug manufacturers. The lawsuit alleges a wide conspiracy of inflation and manipulation of prices, reducing competition, and unreasonably restraining trade for more than 100 different generic drugs.
The complaint alleges twenty generic drug manufacturers engaged in a broad, coordinated, and systematic campaign to conspire with each other to fix prices, distribute markets, and rig bids for more than 100 different generic drugs. Some of the drugs listed are Amoxicillin, Penicillin, and Azithromycin- antibiotics that can be effective against infections. Although, the drugs listed span to a variety of types and classes. The drugs also treat a range of diseases and conditions.
The complaint shows an "interconnected web" of industry executives. These competitors are alleged to have met with each other during industry dinners, lunches, cocktail parties, and golf outings- communicating via frequent phone calls, text messages, and emails proving to have shown illegal agreements.
In reaction to the lawsuit, Attorney General Tim Fox said in a statement, in part, "Montanans have been hit hard by the often shockingly high prices of prescription drugs. The evidence in this case shows that some of the most well-known generic drug manufactures were involved in a widespread conspiracy to fix prices and divide up market share, with the direct result of harming consumers in need of life-sustaining medicine. The fact that generic drugs are supposed to be more affordable makes this conduct all the more troubling and harmful."
Last month, Senator Steve Daines made an attempt to strike down on drug costs, introducing a bi-partisan bill to shed light on the drug pricing process and the "middlemen" responsible for negotiating drug costs. He said in part, "Montanans can't afford to keep paying the outrageous costs of prescription drugs. Transparency and accountability in drug pricing is long overdue. That's why I'm introducing this bill to protect Montanans and ensure those responsible for negotiating drug prices are focused on driving costs down, not lining the pockets of their own industry."
This is not the first time Montanan politicians try to regulate prescription drug costs. Senator Jon Tester had a plan to lower prescription drug costs for all Montanans back in 2018. The "CREATES" act aimed to hold big pharmaceutical companies accountable and increase the availability of those drugs.
"Make sure that pharmaceutical companies- if they're going to raise prices- have to justify it and I think that's what's important," Senator Jon Tester said. "Make sure it's fair."
The lawsuit seeks damages, civil penalties, and actions by the court to restore competition to the generic drug market.