PHILADELPHIA — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and HMO Louisiana recently filed seven additional lawsuits to recover money lost after drug companies allegedly conspired to fix the cost of generic drugs.
The lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The insurances companies have filed a total of 12 lawsuits and are seeking class-action status.
In December, Jeffrey Glazer and Jason Malek, two executives at Heritage Pharmaceuticals, were convicted of fixing the prices of glyburide, a medication for diabetes and doxycycline, an antibiotic. The convictions were part of a two-year investigation by federal and state agencies into prescription price rigging by manufacturers of generic drugs.
The first five lawsuits were filed on April 25. The next day, seven additional lawsuits were filed. The plaintiffs have requested class-action status and a jury trial, alleging that the price-fixing conspiracy involves millions of dollars.
The main allegation is that the generic drug companies conspired to keep the prices artificially high for generic Lidocaine, Prilocaine, Ursodiol, Clobetasol, Levothyroxine, Doxycycline, Digoxin, Glyburide, Clomipramine, Fluocinonide, Propranolol, Pravastatin, Divalproex ER and Desonide.
The insurers filed suit against nearly 24 companies, including Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc., ENDO International PLC, Aurobindo Pharma USA, Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc., Apotex Corp., Jason T. Malek Pliva Inc., Upsher-Smith Laboratories Inc., Breckenridge Pharmaceuticals Inc., Zydus Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., UDL Laboratories Inc., Citron Pharma, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Inc. and Jeffrey A. Glazer.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana declined requests for an interview.
“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana recently filed numerous lawsuits alleging price-fixing and bid-rigging by companies in the generic drug industry,” John Maginnis, spokesman for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, said in a statement. “Blue Cross occasionally joins similar litigation to ensure that our members are paying a fair price for drugs. This is part of our commitment to our customers to hold the marketplace accountable for the overall cost of healthcare.”