This lawsuit claims that Fougera engaged in a conspiracy to fix, raise, maintain, and stabilize the prices of their Econazole antifungal cream by making agreements with generic manufacturers to keep prices high.
Econazole is an antifungal prescription cream commonly used to treat skin infections such as athlete’s foot, ringworm, tinea versicolor, and yeast infections. Generic versions of Econazole have been on the market for over ten years, and prior to the second half of 2014, the price was relatively stable. This was a direct result of competition spurred by the presence of various generic drugs, which benefit consumers and their-party payers through lower prices. Over the past two and a half years, Econazole has seen unprecedented and astounding price increases. Since mid-2014, the price of some Econazole formulations has soared to more than 500% of its prior prices.
One plaintiff in this case is the Fraternal Order of Police, Miami Lodge 20, Insurance Trust Fund (FOP Miami). FOP Miami is a governmental plan established and funded through contributions from the City of Miami and the plan’s members, who are current and retired sworn officers from the Miami Police Department and their dependents. It was established for the purpose of providing medical, surgical, and hospital care or benefits, including prescription drug benefits, to its members. During the class period, FOP Miami purchased and paid for Econazole prescriptions in Florida, Colorado, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. FOP Miami paid and reimbursed more for these products than it would have without Fougera’s illegal conduct to raise the prices of Econazole.
Congress has also made note of Fougera’s behavior. Congress has taken notice of the price increases as well. Representative Elijah Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Senator Bernie Sanders, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, have each written letters to Defendants to request information concerning their sales of other generic drugs that have experienced similar increases. Furthermore, on December 12, 2016, the DOJ filed criminal informations against Jeffrey Glazer and Jason Malek, former executives at Heritage Pharmaceutical, a co-conspirator.
Based on the facts of the case, the plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit allege the following violations: