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WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – New Jersey-based Heritage Pharmaceuticals Inc. has been charged with conspiring with competitors to fix prices, rig bids and allocate customers, the U.S. Department of Justice announced May 31.
Heritage allegedly participated in criminal antitrust conspiracy with other companies and individuals in the generic pharmaceutical industry from April 2014 to December 2015, the Department of Justice said in its release. Heritage's alleged goal was to fix prices, rig bids and allocate customers for a medication used to treat diabetes.
Heritage is required to pay a $225,000 criminal penalty and cooperate with the ongoing criminal investigation.
In a separate civil claim, Heritage has agreed to pay $7.1 million to resolve the allegations under the False Claims Act, as it was allegedly paid and given renumeration in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute.
“Price fixing of generic drugs harms federal health care programs and the beneficiaries those programs serve,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division in a press release. “The Department of Justice will use every tool at its disposal to hold generic drug manufacturers accountable for wrongdoing.”
The civil settlement was managed by the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, Defense Health Agency Program Integrity, and the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Veterans Affairs.