14 December 1998 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]A judge has ordered the world's largest drug companies to pay $64.3 million to 10 states and the District of Columbia to settle a lawsuit charging that they conspired to undermine competition between retailers and health maintenance organizations.
D.C. Superior Court Senior Judge Leonard Braman ruled in a class-action suit, originally filed in 1996 by a district resident who claimed that drug companies sold their products to HMOs for lower prices than they charged retail pharmacies.
The suit alleged that the companies engaged in a price-fixing conspiracy in violation of various state antitrust and consumer fraud statutes. As a result, according to the suit, consumers were deprived of lower prices they would have paid if retail stores were able to compete with HMOs and mail-order pharmacies.
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