Harris County attorney announces lawsuit against generic drug manufacturers over ‘massive price-fixing scheme’

HOUSTON – Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan announced Monday that he is suing generic drug manufacturers over what he considers to be a “massive price-fixing scheme” that he said costs Harris County millions and the U.S. healthcare system billions in inflated drug prices.

Ryan said the 43 companies named in the suit were part of an “overarching conspiracy to significantly reduce competition and increase prices of at least 181 generic drugs across the entire industry.” Ryan said that as a result of this, prices of generic drugs went up at unprecedented rates.

“These manufacturers routinely and systematically sought out their competitors in an effort to reach agreements to allocate market share and maintain or raise prices,” Ryan said. “We intend to hold these pharmaceutical companies accountable for one of the most egregious and massive price-fixing conspiracies in the history of the United States.”

Ryan said that since 2013, Harris County has paid over $25 million for the generic drugs involved in the “scheme.”

“These 43 companies have violated national and state laws that make conspiracy, deceptive trade practices, anti-trust and unjust enrichment illegally,” Ryan said.

Ryan said he is seeking both temporary and permanent injunctions against the companies and also reimbursement for the county.

“For years, these manufacturers have leveraged the culture of cronyism within their industry to artificially inflate prices,” Ryan added. “We will not let them get away with this.”

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