Earlier this month, 44 states filed a sweeping lawsuit that accused 20 generic drug makers, including large players such as Teva Pharmaceutical, and 15 current and former executives of a widespread price-fixing conspiracy. This was the second such lawsuit over the past three years that alleged schemes in which one company would decide to raise prices on a particular medicine and others would follow suit. The 524-page lawsuit also detailed how companies would agree to divide a market, rather than compete by lowering prices. In some instances, the coordinated price increases were over 1,000%. The lawsuits come amid a national debate over rising drug costs.
We spoke with Joseph Nielsen, an assistant attorney general in Connecticut, which has taken the lead on these cases, about some of the details and what to expect next. This is an edited version of our conversation.