Teva vows to fight price-fixing lawsuit

Teva has said it will defend itself against a lawsuit raised by 44 US states that alleges the company was the ringleader in an illegal price-fixing scheme involving 19 other generic companies.

The complaint was filed on Friday in the US District Court in Connecticut, amid widespread outrage regarding the price of both generic and branded prescription medicines.

In some cases the complainants allege that drug prices were inflated by more than 1,000%, in a country where patients may foot all or some of their drug bill, depending on their insurance arrangements.

Also named in the lawsuit were more than a dozen current and former executives at the top generic drug makers, including Mylan and Pfizer, in the action led by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.

The lawsuit broadens a complaint originally raised in 2016, accusing the drugmakers of inflating prices of more than 100 different drugs and a separate investigation by the Justice Department is ongoing.

But in a conference, Teva’s chief financial officer Mike McClellan said that the company had done nothing wrong, noting that the suit was amended and not new.

He told Reuters: “There have been no developments in this area. We take these accusations seriously and we are going to defend ourselves.”

Teva added in a statement: “The allegations in this new complaint, and in the litigation more generally are just that – allegations.”

The lawsuit also names 15 individuals as defendants who it said were intimately involved in running the schemes involving 86 medicines between July 2013 and January 2015.

Drugs involved included a wide range of tablets, capsules, creams and ointments treating conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer and epilepsy.

More than half of the corporate defendants are based in New Jersey and five of the defendants live in the state.

The lawsuit seeks damages, civil penalties and actions by the court to restore competition to the generic drug market.

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