Small win for generic drugmakers in price-fixing suit

June 10, 2022

States that are suing generic drugmakers over an alleged price-fixing scheme are claiming they’re entitled to money from the profits — but a recent ruling says otherwise.

A Pennsylvania district court judge ruled that the states are not entitled to receive a cut from the money made.

The judge, however, did reject the drugmakers' attempts to dismiss the state's efforts to seek injunctive relief. The pharma companies had asked Judge Cynthia Rufe to dismiss the states' disgorgement claim and all federal claims, arguing that the states did not have legal standing to pursue their case.

The case involves 49 states and 20 companies, with some of the most prominent players in the generics like Teva, Mylan (Vitaris) and Sandoz implicated. The plaintiffs say that the drugmakers created an "overarching conspiracy" to limit competition.

The suit is also a part of a broader multidistrict antitrust litigation, in which the defendants are fighting accusations of violating antitrust laws by creating “a scheme or schemes to fix, maintain, stabilize prices, rig bids,” and more.

In the concluding statements, Judge Rufe said, “Defendants’ joint motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ federal law claims for lack of standing will be granted in part and denied in part. An appropriate order will be entered.”

Generic drugmakers have been battling allegations like these for years. Often portrayed as the do-gooders in pharma, what started as a trickle of price-fixing allegations in 2016, has since erupted into a flood of lawsuits targeting dozens of companies for allegations related to hundreds of generic drugs.