Is the Antitrust Division Starting a Broad Investigation of Price Fixing in the Generic Pharmaceuticals Market?

Ed. Note:  This post is by Joan Marshall, a partner at GeyerGorey and a former Antitrust Division prosecutor who worked on the global vitamin cartel prosecutions.


Last month, Elijah E. Cummings, the [then] ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Senator Bernard Sanders, [then] chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, asked 14 generic drug makers to provide data concerning escalating prices charged for generic pharmaceuticals. (here)  Several recent articles, and filings with the SEC, report that the Antitrust Division is also taking a hard look at the generic pharmaceutical industry (here);(here);(here).

A recent analysis found that half of all generic drugs sold through retailers became more expensive over the past 12 months and the prices paid by pharmacies more than doubled for one out of 11 generics (here)(here). The FDA reports that nearly 8 in 10 prescriptions are filled with generic pharmaceuticals. Americans spent about $325.8 billion on prescription medicines in 2012 (here).  Generics now account for 28 percent of pharmaceutical spending (here).

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