Pharmaceutical giant charged with price-fixing in generic drug probe

The Justice Department on Tuesday charged generic drug giant Glenmark Pharmaceuticals with manipulating the prices of drugs sold in the U.S., as part of a broad federal probe of price-fixing in the generics industry.

The company was charged with one count of conspiracy in restraint of trade in a filing in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The complaint alleges that Glenmark and other companies raked in $200 million from the illegal scheme.

Glenmark could not immediately be reached for comment. It could face hundreds of millions of dollars in fines, according to a press release from DOJ announcing the charges.

The charging document alleges that Glenmark and other pharmaceutical companies conspired to raise the price of the cholesterol drug pravastatin. It names Apotex as one of the companies with which Glenmark allegedly conspired.

Apotex agreed to pay a $24 million penalty in May after admitting it had conspired with other companies to fix the price of prevastatin. The payment is part of a deferred prosecution agreement it entered with the department.

“By cheating through fixing prices, generic drug companies artificially raised prices even though prescription drug costs were already sky high,” Makan Delrahim, who heads DOJ’s Antitrust Division, said in a statement. “As today’s charge shows, the Antitrust Division will not hesitate to charge these companies, and litigate where necessary, particularly where their crimes resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in overcharges for life-saving medications.”

Jennifer Arbittier Williams, the top deputy in the Philadelphia U.S. Attorney’s Office, said the alleged scheme could have put millions of Americans’ health at risk.

Four other generic pharmaceutical companies have already entered into settlements with the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and paid more than $229 million.


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