Pharma company Sandoz named in US price-fixing lawsuit

Sandoz split from Novartis in 2003 and now has annual sales in excess of $10 billion. Keystone / Martin Ruetschi

The Germany-based subsidiary of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis is one of 20 companies in the United States targeted in a 44-state class action suit for breaching rules on fair competition.

This content was published on May 13, 2019 - 11:39

The names of the companies were revealed on SundayExternal link by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong. The lawsuit accuses the companies of inflating the prices of more than 100 different drugs.

"Sandoz's name appears in a court case, which concerns virtually the entire pharmaceutical generics industry," Novartis told the Swiss news agency AWP. According to the Basel-based parent company, the accusations are unfounded and will be contested vigorously.

The American prosecutor mentioned that "Teva, Sandoz, Mylan, Pfizer and 16 other generic producers" are accused of conspiring among themselves to set prices, allocate markets and distort offers of more than 100 generic products. In some cases, the price of some substances increased more than tenfold. In addition to Sandoz, a former vice president at the company, Armando Kellum, was named as an individual defendant in the case.

“We have hard evidence that shows the generic drug industry perpetrated a multi-billion-dollar fraud on the American people,” said Tong. “We have emails, text messages, telephone records, and former company insiders that we believe will prove a multi-year conspiracy to fix prices and divide market share for huge numbers of generic drugs.

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