Three pharmaceutical firms collectively are agreeing to pay California almost $70 million to settle allegations that they delayed drugs to maintain prices high, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra stated Monday.
The majority of the cash will come from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and its associates for paying to delay a generic narcolepsy drug, Provigil, from entering the market for almost six years.
Teva is paying $69 million, which Becerra says is the largest pay-for-delay settlement acquired by any state.
Such agreements let the developer of brand name medication keep their monopolies over the drugs after their patents expire, thereby letting them continue to charge customers higher costs. The drug developer pays the generic producer to keep the cheaper version of the drug from entering the marketplace for an agreed period of time.
Teva stated the money would come from a pre-existing fund that was created in 2015 as a part of the company’s settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over similar claims, and it’ll not make any further payments.
Becerra stated such agreements could force customers and the health care market to pay as a lot as 90% more than if there were generic alternatives. More than $25 million of the settlement will go to a consumer fund for California residents who purchased Provigil, Nuvigil or Modafinil between 2006 and 2012.
“No one in America should be forced to skip or ration doses of medicine that they need … and definitely not because a drug company is colluding to keep the price of your drug artificially high even when cheaper options could be accessible. However that’s what’s happening,” Becerra mentioned.