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State Attorneys General Sue Generic Drugmakers for Inflating Prices

Mylan, Teva, Taro and Perrigo are among those accused of price-fixing, market allocation and bid-rigging on 80 topical drugs.
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A coalition of 51 state and local attorneys general, including those of New York and New Jersey, filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing 26 drug companies of conspiring to artificially inflate prices of 80 topical generic drugs.

The companies include Taro  (TARO) - Get Taro Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Report, Perrigo  (PRGO) - Get Perrigo Company plc Report, Sandoz (a unit of Novartis  (NVS) - Get Novartis AG Report) , Actavis, Mylan  (MYL) - Get Viatris, Inc. Report, Teva  (TEVA) - Get Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited American Depositary Shares Report, G&W and Glenmark. The suit also names 10 drug company executives as individual defendants - ones responsible for sales, marketing, pricing and operations.

Topical drug products are administered by contact, most often with an external body surface. They include creams, gels, lotions, ointments, shampoos and solutions.

The drugs in the suit include commonly-prescribed medications such as the local anesthetic lidocaine ointment, the anti-fungal cream clotrimazole 1%, the oral paste triamcinolone (used to treat mouth sores) and latanoprost drops, which are used to treat pressure inside the eye caused by glaucoma and other eye diseases.

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“The price of many prescription drugs is too high, and our investigations have shown that the high prices for many generic drugs stem from illegal collusion among drug companies and executives,” New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement.

The suit alleges defendants engaged in price-fixing, market allocating, and bid-rigging. Rather than competing on price to gain market share, the accused companies colluded with each other to create a fair share of the market for each, the suit says.

Mylan shares recently traded at $17.91, down 2.93% and have risen 25% over the past three months. Teva recently traded at $12.15, down 3.84% and has climbed 37% over the last three months.