Probe of US generic drug 'cartel' grows to 16 companies, 47 states

What began as a lawsuit over the prices of two drugs has grown to become a 47-state case involving at least 16 generic drug companies and 300 drugs, according to The Boston Globe.

The probe is led by Joseph Nielsen, an assistant attorney general and antitrust investigator in Connecticut, and alleges that executives at many top generic drug companies have been coordinating price hikes for years. Though the generic drug market is supposed to provide low-cost alternatives to expensive drugs, the lawsuit alleges executives referred to the market as the "sandbox," where all companies were expected to play fair.

A federal judge recently ruled that over 1 million emails, texts and other communications cited as evidence can be shared among all the lawsuit's plaintiffs. The companies named as defendants include industry giants such as Mylan, Sun and Teva.

"This is most likely the largest cartel in the history of the United States," said Mr. Nielsen.

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