Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald announces that New Hampshire has joined 50 states and territories in filing the third lawsuit against 26 corporate defendants stemming from the ongoing antitrust investigation into an alleged widespread conspiracy by generic drug manufacturers to artificially inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition, and unreasonably restrain trade for generic drugs sold across the United States.
This new complaint focuses on more than 80 topical generic drugs that account for billions of dollars of sales in the United States. The lawsuit seeks damages, civil penalties, and court-imposed remedies to restore competition in the generic drug market.
The topical drugs at the center of the complaint include creams, gels, lotions, ointments, shampoos, and solutions used to treat a variety of skin conditions, pain management, and allergies.
The complaint stems from an ongoing investigation built on evidence from several cooperating witnesses at the core of the alleged conspiracy, a massive document database of over 20 million documents, and a phone records database containing millions of call detail records and contact information for over 600 sales and pricing personnel in the generics industry. The complaint alleges longstanding agreements among manufacturers to ensure a “fair share” of the market for each competitor, and to prevent “price erosion” due to competition.
The complaint is the third to be filed in an ongoing, expanding antitrust investigation. The first complaint, still pending in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, was filed in 2016 and now includes 18 corporate defendants, 2 individual defendants, and 15 generic drugs. The second complaint pending in the same court, was filed in 2019 against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 of the nation’s largest generic drug manufacturers.
The new complaint will likely be combined with the two pending cases. In the meantime, New Hampshire and the other involved States continue to investigate and prepare for trial in these matters.
Assistant Attorney General Greg Albert of the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau is coordinating New Hampshire’s participation in this multistate investigation and litigation.