20 drug companies hit with lawsuit for inflating drug prices

Forty-four U.S. states have joined together in a lawsuit against 20 drug manufacturers, accusing them of scheme to inflate drug prices and eliminate competition in the market, Reuters reported. The drug makers are accused of jacking up the prices by more than 1,000% in some cases.

The lawsuit comes at a time when the Trump administration has made some moves to lower drug prices by forcing drug companies to publish prices in television ads. The administration is also mulling over regulations that would base Medicare Part B drugs, which are typically administered in a doctor’s office, on an international pricing scale. The new complaint is also parallel to another lawsuit filed in 2016 by 45 state attorneys general.

At the center of the scheme is Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, which plans to fight the lawsuit. The complaint filed by states argues that drug companies that produce generics have long engaged with each other ensure they all get a fair share of profits under the guise of being competitors.

From 2013 to 2015, drug companies “colluded to significantly raise prices on 86 medicines,” Reuters reported. These drugs included tablets, capsules, creams and ointments to treat diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer, epilepsy and more. Humana has also filed a lawsuit for a drug price fixing scheme against drugmakers.

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