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Arizona Joins Lawsuit Alleging Widespread Generic Drug Price Conspiracy

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich joined 43 other state attorneys general in alleging that 19 of the country’s largest generic drug manufactures illegally coordinated to raise prices.

The 500-page lawsuit, filed in district court Friday, says 15 senior executives artificially inflated the prices of more than 100 generic drugs — including those for cancer, HIV, ADHD, high blood pressure and depression. The documents said the executives knew their activity was illegal, so they avoided written communication and instead made plans at golf outings, “girls nights out,” and networking events.

“The drugs at issue account for billions of dollars of sales in the United States, and the alleged schemes increased prices affecting the health insurance market, taxpayer-funded healthcare programs like Medicare and Medicaid and individuals who paid artificially-inflated prices for their prescription drugs,” wrote Brnovich in an email.

Teva, one of the named manufacturers, denies the allegations.

This is the second lawsuit Brnovich has joined against generic drug manufacturers and executives.

Washington Post healthcare business reporter Christopher Rowland joined The Show to talk about the investigation.

Claire Caulfield first joined KJZZ as an intern in 2015 and now wakes up before the sun to produce and report for Morning Edition. She graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2017 and covered education policy in the nation's capital, election night in New York City and Native American issues for Cronkite News/ Arizona PBS. Before joining the Morning Edition team, she also worked on a documentary about rap music in the deep South and directed a film on drinking-water quality in the United States.On the weekends, you can find Claire flying her photography drone or working her way through the Pulitzer Prize book list.