California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced four settlements totaling nearly $70 million in payments against pharmaceutical companies for participating in harmful “pay-for-delay” deals that keep lower-priced generic medications off the market for longer, reducing competition and arbitrarily keeping life-saving medications more expensive for consumers. According to the AG, this is the largest settlement of this kind received by any state in the nation. These settlements are also the first time any state has secured an injunction against future pay-for-delay agreements.
This announcement highlights the need for AB 824 by Assemblymember Jim Wood, which would help to deter many of these deals from occurring in the first place, and bring relief faster. AB 824 has already received strong support from consumer advocates and many state legislators, but still faces further votes in the state legislature before Governor Newsom can take action on the bill.
When drug companies pay to prevent a lower-price medication from entering the market, we all pay more, at the pharmacy and in our premiums. Building on this major victory for consumers from the AG’s office, AB 824 can further address this problematic, price-gouging practice here in California.
It’s clear that Big Pharma will find any way to drive up prescription costs for Californians, and we need actions like the one taken today by the AG along with legislation like AB 824 to give us as many tools as possible to fight back. Take action in support of AB 824.
The largest settlement with Teva addresses a generic narcolepsy drug, Provigil, that was delayed to market for almost six years. The other settlements with Teva, Endo Pharmaceuticals, and Teikoku address a generic shingles medication, Lidoderm, which was delayed for nearly two years.
The settlement regarding Provigil creates a fund which will help to provide relief to consumers who were unknowingly hurt by this collusive activity. Health Access encourages consumers to take advantage of this settlement if impacted. More information can be found here: https://oag.ca.gov/antitrust/provigilsettlement
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