The escalating costs of prescription medications spurred the Department of Justice to launch an antitrust investigation against nearly a dozen companies two years ago, with the department possibly filing charges by the end of December, according to Bloomberg Markets.
Here are six things to know:
1. Currently, a jury is assessing whether some pharmaceutical company executives collaborated on raising prices for consumers. The DOJ is looking into almost a dozen companies and nearly two dozen drugs.
2. Officials gave subpoenas to the following companies:
• Mylan in Canonsburg, Pa.
• Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in Petah Tikva, Israel
• Actavis in Parsippany-Troy Hills, N.J.
• Lannett in Philadelphia
• California-based Impax Laboratories
• Switzerland-based Covis Pharma
• Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, based in Mumbai, India
• Australia-based Mayne Pharma Group
• Endo International Plc's subsidiary Par Pharmaceutical Holdings, headquartered in Woodcliff Lake, N.J.
• Taro Pharmaceutical Industries, based in Hawthorne, N.Y.
3. Following news of the investigation, many of the listed companies' shares plummeted. Lannett shares fell 27 percent, with Impax shares also dropping a great deal at 20 percent.
4. Companies are legally able to increase prices at the same time, however, they cannot all agree to set prices or coordinate on discounts, production quotes or fees that impact prices.
5. While officials may bring the first cases to trial by next month's end, the investigation could likely ensue after the department files the first cases. So far, the investigation has resulted in $2.8 billion in penalties and charges against 46 companies and 65 individuals. Of these individuals, 31 have received prison sentences.
6. Last year, generic manufacturers generated almost $70 billion in U.S. sales after discounts and rebates.