An antitrust investigation that initially focused on two drugs has now widened to include 300 drugs and at least 16 companies.
According to a report in the Washington Post, an assistant attorney general in Connecticut has been leading the probe, and has called it “likely the largest cartel in the history of the United States.”
Investigators say that executives at the companies used insider phrases to discuss how they could fix prices and divide up sales to ensure continued profits for each company.
One example in the investigation included the price of a decades-old asthma drug, albuterol, that increased from 13 cents a tablet to $4.70. The drug is made by Mylan and Sun.
So far, the companies named in the investigation, which includes Teva Pharmaceuticals and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, have denied the accusations, with some arguing that there is no proof of anti-competitive behavior.
The investigators said they will continue to release new evidence and add more defendants in the coming months, with the possible goal of reaching settlements.
Read the full Washington Post report.