Seven Indian pharma companies are being dragged into a US lawsuit over high drug prices


  • Over 40 states in the US have filed a lawsuit against 20 drugmakers led by Teva Pharmaceuticals, an Israeli firm, for allegedly conspiring to raise prices of drugs.
  • Seven Indian drugmakers - Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Glenmark Pharma, Lupin Wockhardt, Zydus Pharma and Aurobindo Pharma - have been named in the antitrust lawsuit.
  • The lawsuit alleges that the concerned pharmaceutical firms colluded to raise the prices of over 100 medicines.

Over 40 states in the US have filed a lawsuit against 20 drugmakers led by Teva Pharmaceuticals, an Israeli firm, for allegedly conspiring to raise prices of drugs in the US market.

Seven Indian drugmakers - Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Glenmark Pharma, Lupin Wockhardt, Zydus Pharma and Aurobindo Pharma - have been named in the antitrust lawsuit, which was filed at the end of last week following the culmination of a multi-year investigation into the US pharma industry.

Sun Pharma’s share price on the Bombay Stock Exchange fell 13% yesterday before recovering.

The lawsuit alleges that the concerned pharmaceutical firms colluded to raise the prices of over 100 medicines and divide up the addressable market for the medicines as opposed to competing normally against each other.

Teva is said to be the driving force behind the collusion. Between 2013 and 2015, the Israel drugmaker reportedly fixed prices on 86 medicines, the complaint from the states alleged. The price increases on some drugs were as high as 1,000%.

The drugmakers have to deal with more than just the lawsuit from the states. Even the US Department of Justice is investigating the companies for antitrust violations.

Speaking on the matter, a spokesperson for Sun Pharma told Mint, ““We believe the allegations made in these lawsuits are without merit and we will continue to vigorously defend against them."

If successfully argued, the lawsuit could result in billions of dollars worth of fines for the concerned companies. The fines for Indian pharma firms are expected to be in the tens of millions of range, since their participation was reportedly limited.

For their part, the drugmakers have argued that the price increases were a result of market factors like supply shocks and consolidation among rivals.


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