Drugmakers allegedly inflated prices over 1,000% by Colluding

Avatar image for mattbbpl
#1 Posted by mattbbpl (17224 posts) -

U.S. states filed a lawsuit accusing Teva Pharmaceuticals USA of orchestrating a sweeping scheme with 19 other drug companies to inflate drug prices — sometimes by more than 1,000% — and stifle competition for generic drugs, state prosecutors said on Saturday.

The 20 drug companies engaged in illegal conspiracies to divide up the market for drugs to avoid competing and, in some cases, conspired to either prevent prices from dropping or to raise them, according to the complaint by 44 U.S. states, filed on Friday in the U.S. District Court in Connecticut.

The 500-page lawsuit accuses the generic drug industry, which mainly sells medicines that are off patent and should be less expensive, of a long history of discreet agreements to ensure that companies that are supposedly competitors each get a “fair share.”

“Apparently unsatisfied with the status quo of ‘fair share’ and the mere avoidance of price erosion, Teva and its co-conspirators embarked on one of the most egregious and damaging price-fixing conspiracies in the history of the United States,” the complaint said.

“The level of corporate greed alleged in this multistate lawsuit is heartless and unconscionable,” Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak said in a statement.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/11/us-states-accuse-teva-and-other-drugmakers-of-colluding-to-inflate-prices-over-1000percent.html

This continues a pattern we've become familiar with in recent years, and it has to stop.

Avatar image for HoolaHoopMan
#2 Posted by HoolaHoopMan (10786 posts) -

Throw every one of the conspirators in jail. It's pretty unconscionable that people would do this.

Avatar image for mrbojangles25
#3 Posted by mrbojangles25 (44045 posts) -

Not surprising, but still incredibly disappointing.

At least they were caught. I only hope we lock the people in charge up for a very long time; it can be in "club fed" for all I care, as long as they have their freedoms removed I will be content.

Avatar image for Baconstrip78
#4 Posted by Baconstrip78 (1380 posts) -

@mrbojangles25: Depending on the drugs they were selling, artificially inflating prices of lifesaving drugs could have led to actual deaths, which the conspirators would have likely figured into their cost/benefit calculations.

If that’s the case, then there should be no club fed. State correctional gen-pop.

Avatar image for Serraph105
#5 Posted by Serraph105 (33853 posts) -

It's not even surprising at this point. They're for-profit businesses and they're acting exactly as you would expect. The big difference of course is that these aren't products people would simply like to have, they're products people legitimately need to live. Society has zero reason to give corporations that sort of power over their lives in my opinion and we should take that power away from them entirely.

Avatar image for SOedipus
#6 Posted by SOedipus (11513 posts) -

But the Teva Pharm CFO said the company did not conspire to fix prices and that they did nothing wrong.

Avatar image for mattbbpl
#7 Posted by mattbbpl (17224 posts) -

@Serraph105: "Society has zero reason to give corporations that sort of power over their lives in my opinion and we should take that power away from them entirely."

Are there any specific proposals to do so that you'd prefer?

Avatar image for kadin_kai
#8 Posted by Kadin_Kai (505 posts) -

It does not surprise me one bit!

Avatar image for horgen
#9 Posted by Horgen (120611 posts) -

Hold people in those companies, those responsible for this, responsible. Jail and massive fines. Massive fines to the companies as well, perhaps fixed prices or simply have profits taken by the feds.

Avatar image for br0kenrabbit
#10 Posted by br0kenrabbit (16077 posts) -

@horgen said:

Hold people in those companies, those responsible for this, responsible. Jail and massive fines. Massive fines to the companies as well, perhaps fixed prices or simply have profits taken by the feds.

No one is going to jail. I know that, you know that.

It's not like they're going to charge them with RICO or anything, even though they certainly deserve it.

Avatar image for mattbbpl
#11 Posted by mattbbpl (17224 posts) -

@horgen: @br0kenrabbit: I have little doubt that, should they be found guilty, they'll face a raft of fines that will be less than the profit they gained and serve as a warning they should be more careful the next time they collude.

Avatar image for br0kenrabbit
#12 Posted by br0kenrabbit (16077 posts) -

@mattbbpl said:

@horgen: @br0kenrabbit: I have little doubt that, should they be found guilty, they'll face a raft of fines that will be less than the profit they gained and serve as a warning they should be more careful the next time they collude.

Pretty much.

Avatar image for LJS9502_basic
#13 Posted by LJS9502_basic (166617 posts) -

One of the problems with health care........hey wasn't donnie dimwit going to reduce the cost of medicine?

Avatar image for Nuck81
#14 Posted by Nuck81 (7648 posts) -

@mrbojangles25: you think anything will happen? Big pharma owns Congress.

Avatar image for joebones5000
#15 Posted by joebones5000 (2369 posts) -

The drug industry needs to be nationalized.

Avatar image for Serraph105
#16 Edited by Serraph105 (33853 posts) -

@mattbbpl: I've been giving your question some thought and I thought of one compromise which I realized was actually pretty terrible. So I'm going to give you the rather lame, but fairly standard answer of more socialized medicine, paying for it via tax dollars as opposed to people who are in the game solely to make money. You can call it Medicare, medicaid, Obamacare, Trumpcare, it doesn't really matter so long as you aren't giving for profit companies the power to literally decide upon whether you live or die based on how much money you have to give them. We can base the system on other countries who do the same thing. Canada would be the most politically sellable argument in my opinion given that we seem to be largely friends, but whatever ends up working.

Avatar image for mattbbpl
#17 Posted by mattbbpl (17224 posts) -

@Serraph105: I was just curious because there are a lot of different ways, at least in theory, to address it. I wasn't sure in which direction you'd lean.

As for me, I'm not sure I have a preference at the moment. Want to break up consolidated supplier power by breaking up major players and more strictly enforcing antitrust laws again? Maybe increase purchaser bargaining power via a national healthcare system that can negotiate in bulk? Maybe straight up legislate max fee schedules similar to the workers comp schedules?

I used to advocate the method that would be least intrusive to existing companies, but I no longer care. Screw 'em. Whatever's politically feasible and gets the job done, let's do it. We've wasted too much time already hand-wringing over how it would effect those who are robbing the public.

Avatar image for Serraph105
#18 Posted by Serraph105 (33853 posts) -

@mattbbpl said:

@Serraph105: I was just curious because there are a lot of different ways, at least in theory, to address it. I wasn't sure in which direction you'd lean.

As for me, I'm not sure I have a preference at the moment. Want to break up consolidated supplier power by breaking up major players and more strictly enforcing antitrust laws again? Maybe increase purchaser bargaining power via a national healthcare system that can negotiate in bulk? Maybe straight up legislate max fee schedules similar to the workers comp schedules?

I used to advocate the method that would be least intrusive to existing companies, but I no longer care. Screw 'em. Whatever's politically feasible and gets the job done, let's do it. We've wasted too much time already hand-wringing over how it would effect those who are robbing the public.

I agree with that. We waste time and people keep suffering at the hands of a system that doesn't give a damn about the people and is primarily interesting in their wallets more than their lives. We need to elect people that want to help in the now, not several decades from now.

Avatar image for Vaasman
#19 Posted by Vaasman (13728 posts) -

If only there were some sort of healthcare that was universal so attempts at hiking up drug prices became irrelevant.

Avatar image for LJS9502_basic
#20 Posted by LJS9502_basic (166617 posts) -

@Serraph105 said:

@mattbbpl: I've been giving your question some thought and I thought of one compromise which I realized was actually pretty terrible. So I'm going to give you the rather lame, but fairly standard answer of more socialized medicine, paying for it via tax dollars as opposed to people who are in the game solely to make money. You can call it Medicare, medicaid, Obamacare, Trumpcare, it doesn't really matter so long as you aren't giving for profit companies the power to literally decide upon whether you live or die based on how much money you have to give them. We can base the system on other countries who do the same thing. Canada would be the most politically sellable argument in my opinion given that we seem to be largely friends, but whatever ends up working.

People used to be able to buy their necessary medication from Canada but a GOP president put an end to that. And you think they care about affordability? Hahahahahaha...........

Avatar image for Jacanuk
#21 Posted by Jacanuk (18608 posts) -

What a non-surprise

Why do people think we have such horrible internet in the US, or why the country is divided between the top ISP´s, it´s all down to backroom deals.

So not really a surprise and just the way of life in America and the world.

Avatar image for Serraph105
#22 Posted by Serraph105 (33853 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:
@Serraph105 said:

@mattbbpl: I've been giving your question some thought and I thought of one compromise which I realized was actually pretty terrible. So I'm going to give you the rather lame, but fairly standard answer of more socialized medicine, paying for it via tax dollars as opposed to people who are in the game solely to make money. You can call it Medicare, medicaid, Obamacare, Trumpcare, it doesn't really matter so long as you aren't giving for profit companies the power to literally decide upon whether you live or die based on how much money you have to give them. We can base the system on other countries who do the same thing. Canada would be the most politically sellable argument in my opinion given that we seem to be largely friends, but whatever ends up working.

People used to be able to buy their necessary medication from Canada but a GOP president put an end to that. And you think they care about affordability? Hahahahahaha...........

I don't know how you came to the conclusion that I believe that.

Avatar image for horgen
#23 Edited by Horgen (120611 posts) -

@mattbbpl said:

@horgen: @br0kenrabbit: I have little doubt that, should they be found guilty, they'll face a raft of fines that will be less than the profit they gained and serve as a warning they should be more careful the next time they collude.

That's basically a slap on the wrist while saying good work, keep it up. It has to hurt if these companies are going to stop.

Avatar image for uninspiredcup
#24 Posted by uninspiredcup (33699 posts) -

@HoolaHoopMan said:

Throw every one of the conspirators in jail. It's pretty unconscionable that people would do this.

Yes, these people are disgusting.

Avatar image for mattbbpl
#25 Posted by mattbbpl (17224 posts) -

@Jacanuk: Exactly right. Collusion cases are like cockroaches. If you see a couple, you know there are hundreds more. The reason is because collusion evidence is easy to hide and collusion cases are nigh impossible to prove.

Your isp example is a good one. Airlines are as well. These are textbook cases of where we've know about collusion in the industries for decades, but without an email or recording where they explicitly set prices, what are we going to do?

Avatar image for SOedipus
#26 Posted by SOedipus (11513 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:
@Serraph105 said:

@mattbbpl: I've been giving your question some thought and I thought of one compromise which I realized was actually pretty terrible. So I'm going to give you the rather lame, but fairly standard answer of more socialized medicine, paying for it via tax dollars as opposed to people who are in the game solely to make money. You can call it Medicare, medicaid, Obamacare, Trumpcare, it doesn't really matter so long as you aren't giving for profit companies the power to literally decide upon whether you live or die based on how much money you have to give them. We can base the system on other countries who do the same thing. Canada would be the most politically sellable argument in my opinion given that we seem to be largely friends, but whatever ends up working.

People used to be able to buy their necessary medication from Canada but a GOP president put an end to that. And you think they care about affordability? Hahahahahaha...........

What are you referring to? We get Americans getting scripts filled, and buying insulin and EpiPens here all the time. The ones that get scripts say it's cheaper for them to pay to see a doctor here and pay cash for the drugs here, than it is to get it done back home with their drug plans.

Avatar image for br0kenrabbit
#27 Edited by br0kenrabbit (16077 posts) -

@SOedipus said:
@LJS9502_basic said:
@Serraph105 said:

@mattbbpl: I've been giving your question some thought and I thought of one compromise which I realized was actually pretty terrible. So I'm going to give you the rather lame, but fairly standard answer of more socialized medicine, paying for it via tax dollars as opposed to people who are in the game solely to make money. You can call it Medicare, medicaid, Obamacare, Trumpcare, it doesn't really matter so long as you aren't giving for profit companies the power to literally decide upon whether you live or die based on how much money you have to give them. We can base the system on other countries who do the same thing. Canada would be the most politically sellable argument in my opinion given that we seem to be largely friends, but whatever ends up working.

People used to be able to buy their necessary medication from Canada but a GOP president put an end to that. And you think they care about affordability? Hahahahahaha...........

What are you referring to? We get Americans getting scripts filled, and buying insulin and EpiPens here all the time. The ones that get scripts say it's cheaper for them to pay to see a doctor here and pay cash for the drugs here, than it is to get it done back home with their drug plans.

I think it was ordering from online Canadian pharmacies for delivery in the US that was banned. Could be wrong.

Avatar image for KungfuKitten
#28 Edited by KungfuKitten (26652 posts) -

Yeah USA healthcare is ****'d. And this kind of thing, especially since it's about messing with people's HEALTH, I consider it high treason. How can you betray a nation of people like that? I'll never understand how these crooks stay alive but innocents get shot. Throw them in jail, obviously, but get. that. money. back. Throw them out of their houses, sell everything that's in there. Pull it out of their investments. Get it from their family. Get it from overseas. Get that money back to the people... Don't just let them walk away with that.

Avatar image for blaznwiipspman1
#29 Posted by blaznwiipspman1 (7205 posts) -

Another argument to do away with patents altogether. Let's see them make agreements with 10,000 competitors