Kansas one of many states seeking judicial relief on prescription drug prices

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt joined many of his colleagues from across the country from 42 other states and Puerto Rico this week in filing a lawsuit to attempt to protect consumers from collusion when it comes to generic drug prices.

“One of the many problems in the health care system is the skyrocketing price of generic drugs,” said Schmidt. “We’ve been investigating those price increases now for several years along with partner offices in other states. We have developed what we believe is solid evidence that at least a part of some of these dramatic price increases in the generics market are the result of price-fixing.”

This isn’t just a company or two, it’s virtually industry-wide.

“We’ve now filed two different lawsuits naming almost 40 different drug companies and a number of individual defendants who are the leadership of the different companies,” said Schmidt. “One, we’ve been litigating since 2016. The other, we just filed, adding a long list of additional defendants. We’re hopeful, at the end of this, that what we get is, that these folks are held to account for what we believe to be their illegal conduct.”

The latest lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

“There’s discussion about regulating the drug market further for the purpose of trying to drive down prices,” said Schmidt. “That’s an active discussion in Congress and I expect, at some point, there’ll be an attempt to actually change federal law to that effect, but we have to deal with the playing field as it exists right now and as it has existed for the past several years, when what be believe to be this illegal collusion has taken effect.”

The drugs at issue in the lawsuit account for billions of dollars of sales in the United States.