For Immediate Release: Monday, July 29, 2019
Rachel Linn Gish, Director of Communications, Health Access California, firstname.lastname@example.org, 916-532-2128 (cell)
IN A WIN FOR CONSUMERS, AG BECERRA ANNOUNCES $70 MILLION IN SETTLEMENTS AGAINST BIG PHARMA COMPANIES WHO KEPT PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICES HIGH USING COLLUSIVE PAY-FOR-DELAY DEALS
HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR ASSEMBLY BILL 824 (WOOD)
* Settlements announced today by Attorney General Becerra secure nearly $70 million in payments to the state, showing need for AB 824 (Wood) that would help further deter pay-for-delay practices by increasing enforcement against bad actors.
* Consumer groups are in strong support and have testified for AB 824, which will help lower the cost of prescription drugs for millions of Californians. The bill is currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee and will be heard in August.
* Consumers who may have been subject to the harm of these Big Pharma practices addressed in this settlement are encouraged to file a claim.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — 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.
“I’m grateful to Attorney General Xavier Becerra for the department’s hard work going after these bad actors,” said Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa), author of AB 824. “Although these settlements are the largest received by any state and the only ones to secure injunctive relief for a state against future pay-for-delay agreements, my bill AB 824, sponsored by the AG, will give him better tools to uncover these abusive practices.”
“This announcement today by Attorney General Xavier Becerra is a big win for consumers and the state of California. It’s clear that Big Pharma will find any way to drive up prescription costs for Californians, and we need actions like this along with legislation like AB 824 by Assemblymember Wood to give us as many tools as possible to fight back,” said Yasmin Peled, policy advocate for Health Access California, the statewide consumer advocacy coalition and strong supporter of AB 824 (Wood). “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 today, AB 824 can further address this problematic, price-gouging practice here in California.”
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 <https://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1071550947&msgid=5126820&act=I20B&c=5484&destination=https%3A%2F%2Foag.ca.gov%2Fantitrust%2Fprovigilsettlement>