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California Sues 39 Pharmaceutical Groups For Alleged Price Gouging


10/19/2005 5:09:10 PM

California has sued 39 US and foreign drug companies, charging that they inflated prices to the detriment of the state's health care system, the state's attorney general said. "We're dragging these drug companies into the court of law because they're gouging the public on basic life necessities," Bill Lockyer said in a statement. The suit was filed in a court in the northeastern city of Boston, Massachusetts, the statement said. Lockyer accused the companies of having artificially inflated prices for products reimbursed by the state's health care program Medi-Cal, "resulting in a loss of potentially hundreds of millions of dollars." California already sued two pharmaceutical companies for the same reason in 2003, but the suit was widened to a total of 39 companies when new evidence came to light, the statement said. Companies named in the suit include US giants Abbott, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck, as well Boehringer of Germany, Glaxo Wellcome of Britain, Lipha of France, Pharma Investment of Canada and Teva of Israel.

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