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UnitedHealthcare sues generics manufacturers for price fixing Posted 10/01/2020

US health insurance giant UnitedHealthcare has filed a lawsuit against 25 generic drugs manufacturers, accusing them of scheming to increase the prices of over 100 different drugs.

UnitedHealthcare, a major insurance provider in the US, filed the lawsuit on 11 October 2019 in a Minnesota federal court. The lawsuit accuses 25 manufacturers of generic drugs, including Teva, Sandoz and Mylan, of price fixing.

The price of some drugs have increased by over 100%, with an average price increase of 488% occurring between 2013 and 2014. UnitedHealthcare accuses the manufacturers of collaborating to keep prices high and competition low, and even destroying evidence to avoid prosecution.

The full complaint is over 400 pages long and details illegal schemes, many of them involving Teva, to keep prices high for a range of different drug products. The manufacturers are each accused of engaging in ‘contracts, combinations and conspiracies that restrained trade, inflated prices, and reduced competition in the generic pharmaceutical industry’.

This is the second lawsuit UnitedHealtchare has filed against generics manufacturers in 2019. Back in January 2019, the company filed a lawsuit against a host of manufacturers, again including Teva, for price fixing. This lawsuit is currently undergoing pre-trial proceedings in Pennsylvania.

In May 2019, more than 40 US states filed a lawsuit against widespread generic price fixing in the country, accusing 20 drug manufacturers including Teva, Sandoz and Mylan of a scheme to inflate the prices of generic drugs by as much as 1,000% [1].

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1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Multi-state lawsuit alleges widespread generic price fixing in the US [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2020 Jan 10]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Generics/General/Multi-state-lawsuit-alleges-widespread-generic-price-fixing-in-the-US

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Source: The American Bar Association

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