Former US Pharma Managers Charged

20.12.2016 -

As a US government criminal investigation into anticompetitive drug pricing tactics continues, federal prosecutors have charged two former pharmaceutical industry executives with conspiring to fix prices, rig bids and avoid competing with other drugmakers in marketing two generic medications. The charges against Jeffrey Glazer, former CEO of Heritage, and Jason Malek, the company’s former president, allege that the two fixed prices on an antibiotic and a diabetes drug between April 2013 and December 2015.

Heritage said in a statement that it terminated the executives in August 2016 after conducting its own internal investigation, adding that the company was “fully cooperating” with all aspects of the investigation. The Eatontown, New Jersey-based drugmaker has filed its own civil complaint, alleging that Glazer and Malek “looted tens of millions of dollars” from the company by “misappropriating its business opportunities, fraudulently obtaining compensation for themselves and embezzling its intellectual property.”

Generic drugs account for 90 % of all prescriptions dispensed in the unregulated US pharmaceutical market, according to figures published by QuintilesIMS, a pharmaceutical analytics company. The drugs are generally priced 30-80% less than brand-name medications and help reduce prescription costs for patients, employers and health care providers.

According to reports, several generics producers have previously received subpoenas from the US Justice Department in connection with its investigation, including Mylan and Lannett. In the recent presidential election, drug prices were at the forefront of discussions.

"Pharmaceutical executives must be held accountable for ripping off the American people by charging them the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs," Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who lost his bid to become the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate to Hillary Clinton, said in a statement responding to the charges against the Heritage managers.

Sanders and US Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland called on the Department of Justice to investigate possible price collusion among manufacturers of insulin, which they claim raised prices by more than 300% between 2002 and 2013.