Aurobindo Pharma USA, Inc., Citron Pharma, LLC, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., Heritage Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and two Heritage executives are the defendants in an antitrust lawsuit filed by a group of independent pharmacies. The suit claims the defendants conspired to fix the price of generic glyburide, a medication used to treat high blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes. According to the complaint, “generic drug manufacturers have improperly taken advantage of their market position to hike prices far above competitive levels,” increasing them by 200% between April 1, 2014 and December 31, 2015. These “unprecedented and astounding price increases” forced independent pharmacies to pay an inflated price for their customers’ medications, and they were not always reimbursed by insurance companies at the adjusted price rate, the suit alleges. The complaint further argues that pharmacies often “absorb losses rather than impose a price hike on customers, especially when the pharmacist understands a person’s health needs and financial problems.”
The pharmacies claim the drug manufacturers attempted to discuss glyburide prices in person to avoid written records of their illegal actions, but believe the defendants are in possession of email and phone records that evidence the price-fixing conspiracy. The plaintiffs also note that in January of this year, the two Heritage executives pled guilty in a similar suit brought against them for conspiring to fix generic drug prices.
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