Most people consider generics as lower cost alternatives to brand name medications no longer subject to a patent, but consumers were deceived and overcharged when companies fixed prices in a $75 billion industry. The anticompetitive conduct has affected patients, insurers, and taxpayers alike. Prices for certain generic drugs surged as much as 600 percent to 2,000 percent in recent years.
Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP (“CPM”) is on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee of In re Generic Digoxin and Doxycycline Antitrust Litigation, which is pending in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (MDL No. 2724, Case No. 2:16-md-02724). In that case, direct purchaser plaintiffs allege that generic drug manufacturers conspired to allocate customers, rig bids, and fix, maintain or stabilize the prices of digoxin and doxycycline. Although digoxin is not at issue in the in the DOJ proceedings against the former Heritage executives or in the state attorneys generals’ lawsuits, the earliest subpoenas issued by the government in its generic drug investigation targeted digoxin.
While CPM filed a new automotive parts complaint in the massive and ongoing In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation (MDL No. 2311) pending in the Southern District of Michigan as recently as November 2016 (see Access Mechanisms, Case No. 2:16-cv-04103), the hurricane of new cases has slowed to a tropical storm in 2016 as the DOJ appears to be moving onto generic drugs, the next major wave of antitrust price-fixing litigation. CPM will continue to monitor the generic drug price-fixing investigations and litigations for new developments.