With four settlement agreements, the state of California will receive nearly $ 70 million from pharmaceutical companies that claim to suspend illegal transactions in order to keep affordable generic drugs off the market, protecting expensive brand names from competition.
Agreements also include injunctions that temporarily prevent drug manufacturers from entering into such "late payment."
California Attorney General Xavier Bessera claims that transactions violate antitrust laws and can make consumers pay up to 90% more for prescription drugs.
"These gloomy, illegal, secret agreements that drug companies envision not only stifle price competition, but burden our families and patients ̵
The three participating companies – Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Teikoku Pharma – deny that the transactions are illegal and have harmed consumers.
The four locations include two drugs: Provigil (treatment for narcolepsy and other sleep disorders) and Lidoderm (a shingles prescription adhesive tape).
In the case of Provigil, Becerra alleges that Teva entered into four late payment transactions with competitors in order to maintain a monopoly on the sale of the drug from 2006 to 2012. Teva agreed, agreeing to a 10- annual disbursement and payment of $ 69 million. Of that payment, $ 25,250,000 will be invested in a reimbursement fund for California residents who purchased the drug during this time period.
As for Lidoderm, Becerra claims that all three companies (Teva, Endo and Teikoku) are working together to delay the launch of the generic market. Endo and Teikoku, partners in the Lidoderm industry, say they have made a multimillion-dollar deal with a company acquired by Teva to delay the release of generic. Endo settled with California for $ 760,000 and agreed to an eight-year order. Teikoku agreed to a 20-year order.
The Becerra Office noted that settlements include the largest state payout in terms of "late payment" transactions. They also mark the first time a country has banned transactions. The companies had already agreed with the FTC on similar claims regarding the two drugs.