Feds almost ready to charge drugmakers—and executives—in generics price-fixing probe

justice
The government has been looking into suspected price fixing in the generics industry for several years. (Pixabay)

U.S. prosecutors have been digging into potential price-fixing in the generics world, and along the way, they've searched corporate offices and tracked executive movements at industry conferences. Now they're close to slapping charges on two companies and several execs, Bloomberg reports

The charges could come this summer, according to Bloomberg's sources, but those sources didn't disclose which companies—or executives—would be targeted.  

One revelation from the reporting? The feds raided Mylan's headquarters in September 2016 when CEO Heather Bresch was testifying to Congress about EpiPen price hikes, a source told Bloomberg.

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Mylan didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The federal generic price-fixing investigation is separate from Mylan's EpiPen pricing controversy, which started in 2016 and continued into 2017. 

RELATED: Ex-Heritage execs turn state's evidence in far-reaching generic pricing probe 

Authorities have also searched Perrigo's offices, the company disclosed last year. 

Federal authorities have been investigating possible price fixing in the generics industry for years, leading to regular disclosures by companies that they are under investigation. The government arrested former Heritage Pharma executives in late 2016 and secured a plea deal in 2017 in exchange for their cooperation with the probe. 

Since then, state attorneys general—led by Connecticut AG George Jepsen—have filed a civil lawsuit against 18 companies and two executives alleging price fixing on 15 drugs. Mylan president Rajiv Malik was named as a defendant, and the company at the time said it stands by its executive. 

RELATED: Mylan President Rajiv Malik targeted as states expand price-fixing suit against top drugmakers 

"Mylan and Rajiv Malik both intend to defend this case vigorously, and we look forward to the opportunity to present a full defense," the company said in a statement at the time. 

In a document published alongside the lawsuit, Jepsen's office said the original allegations are the "tip of the iceberg" of alleged pricing collusion.