(Legal Newsline) — New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced a
joint settlement Jan. 18 with four other attorneys general and the Federal
Trade Commission with Mallinckrodt PLC and its U.S. subsidiary, formerly known
as Questcor Pharmaceuticals (Questcor), a drug manufacturer.
to allegations, Questcor attempted to bar competition for its drug H.P. Acthar gel. The company bought the rights to the drug, which treats certain
life-threatening diseases, in 2001. Since 2001 Questcor has purportedly raised
the price of the drug by 85,000 percent, from $40 per vial to more than
$34,000. Additionally, the company outbid competitors in the purchase of
Synacthen, a drug used to treat the same conditions.
The drug is sold in Europe
and Canada at a fraction of the price. Questcor’s rivals had plans to develop
and distribute the drug in the United States but Questcor allegedly stepped in
and bought the drug without having any plans for it. By doing so, Questcor
could purportedly continue to charge $34,000 for its H.P. Acthar gel.
“This is an egregious case of a monopolist doing a deal to
eliminate potential competition and keep its power over pricing. It is
abhorrent that lifesaving drugs cost New Yorkers tens of thousands of dollars.” Schneiderman said. “This settlement will restore the
competition that was prevented by Questcor’s illegal actions, and my office
will continue to vigorously enforce antitrust laws to prevent consumers and
taxpayers from being saddled with the out-of-control drug prices that can
result from unlawful conduct.”