Suit: Generic drug makers used code to fix price increases


BOSTON (AP) -- A lawsuit says representatives of some of the nation's largest generic drug manufacturers used code words to collude with competitors to divvy up market share and coordinate price increases.

The code came in emails included in the lawsuit filed last month by attorneys general from more than 40 states, including Wisconsin. The 510-page federal lawsuit filed in Connecticut was released in full Monday.

The lawsuit says the representatives used phrases like "playing nice in the sandbox" and "fluff pricing" in emails to one another.

Democratic Connecticut Attorney General William Tong says the goal was to artificially inflate prices, hinder competition and restrain trade.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice says one email in October 2014 shows Heritage Pharmaceuticals's outside counsel coordinating a response with lawyers for Teva and Mylan, saying the response to a congressional inquiry would be "polite f-u letters."

A representative for Teva Pharmaceuticals, one of the firms named in the suit, did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. WBAY contributed to this report.