White collar crime focus: wrongdoing in generic drug field

Many criminal law commentators, including Hilder & Associates, P.C., have duly noted the sharpened scrutiny of state and federal authorities in recent years on white collar crime activities across myriad fields.

One of those realms is most decidedly the health care sphere, given the sheer size and scope that marks that terrain.

One recent national media piece bears that out, with an emphasis firmly focused upon alleged criminal wrongdoing in one very profitable sector of the industry, namely, the manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical drugs.

As that article notes, “tougher legal repercussions” are fast becoming the norm for individuals and businesses convicted of criminal acts connected to drug offerings, especially generic drugs.

One commentator who specializes in antitrust matters call it “a new development.”

What he is most specifically referring to is what the above media report calls “diverse types of lawsuits” being brought in cases involving alleged drug price fixing, companies’ collusion to stifle competition and additional antitrust violations.

Two ex-company principals were recently sued by their former employer in a civil case under the federal RICO statute, with the company alleging wrongful conduct ranging from embezzlement to misappropriation of business opportunities. Those same individuals were later criminally charged with multiple felony counts by the U.S. Department of Justice, ultimately pleading guilty.

And now attorneys general are banding together in what the aforementioned article calls “another path for pursuing generic drug companies” that they contend are colluding and fixing prices.

Their strategy, as evidenced in one recent case where 20 AGs joined together: to file a civil complaint in federal court against multiple drug company defendants.

Commentators predict that aggressive and diverse strategies will increasingly be employed against suspected drug industry wrongdoers in the future.

And they add that more and more industry actors might get pulled into the maelstrom, with cases expanding “to touch multiple prongs of the pharmaceutical industry, such as wholesale manufacturers and pharmacies.”