Forty-Five States Sue 18 Generic Drug Makers for Price-Fixing Collusion

 

Reuters News has reported that forty-five states and the District of Columbia have joined forces in accusing well-established generic drug makers and their executives of personally engaging in a broad price-fixing conspiracy involving more than a dozen medicines that are used to treat debilitating chronic diseases.

The suit alleges that companies and specific executives have colluded to limit competition and dramatically raise prices of maintenance drugs that are used by millions of people to treat infections, and debilitating diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma, epilepsy, high blood pressure and anxiety.

While the initial response to the allegations was a denial of wrongdoing, former executives from Heritage Pharmaceuticals pleaded guilty in January to conspiring to price fixing and limiting competition. In addition, the former Heritage Pharmaceutical President and the Board Chair & CEO reached a plea deal, agreed to pay fines and cooperate with the broader investigation of generic drug maker pricing practices.

The suit against the generic pharma companies has broadened to include well-known established companies and their executives including  Mylan, Sandoz, Teva , Emcure and Sun. In addition to the suit by the State Attorney Generals, the US Justice Department has begun a parallel criminal investigation into these allegations.

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While most of the generic drug price hikes were between 100% and 500% over the 7 year period, approximately 1000 generic drugs had increases of a minimum of 500% to more than 1,000%

Unregulated and rapidly rising US pharmaceutical prices have had a negative impact not only on individuals and their private employers and but also on taxpayer-funded village, town, county and state governments including their health insurance costs for teachers, police and other public employees.

And finally, the rapidly rising cost of medications is passed on to taxpayers in the form of increased local and state taxes.

Elected US politicians, who talk about wanting smaller government and lower taxes need to be held accountable for giving Big Pharma an unconditional pass while they accept huge campaign contributions and allow the pharma industry to write the laws and regulations that serve their financial interest over US citizens, who need access to affordable, life-sustaining medications like the rest of the developed world.

 

 

 

 

 

The NYS Attorney General Sanctions ValueOptions, MVP, EmblemHealth, Cigna and Excellus Insurance Companies in Landmark Settlements for the Wrongful Denials of Behavioral Health Treatment Services.

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                                    Philip Seymour Hoffman 1967-2014

Serious mental health and addiction problems affect millions of Americans and when untreated lead to more suffering, costly medical treatment and social problems. These problems are found in individuals and families of all walks of life and at all ages. In addition, when untreated, these problems are often associated with serious accidents, injuries, suicide, disabilities, homelessness, lost jobs, divorce, child neglect, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, DWIs and other crimes.

A major issue, with people who experience major mental health and addiction problems, is that they often are impaired, to the extent that they don’t seek help early enough. Their problems are made significantly worse, when millions of people, who are seeking treatment and have paid for their insurance coverage, are denied access to treatment services.

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Robin Williams 1951-2014

NYS Investigates Claims of Insurer Discrimination

The NYS AG’s office has aggressively investigated health insurance companies operating in New York that have had long-standing complaints and discriminatory practices. These insurers sell policies to public and private employers and individual policies including Medicare Advantage plans that include mental health and addiction treatment benefits.

However, at the same time, they have restricted and denied coverage and claims as “not medically necessary” at substantially higher rates than other medical services. The AG investigations identified a number of common administrative deficiencies including inadequate compliance systems consistent with state and federal parity laws, rules, regulations and professional standards.

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