SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Attorney General Hector Balderas has filed a lawsuit in the First Judicial District Court of New Mexico against manufacturers of antiretroviral HIV and AIDS treatment drugs. The lawsuit accuses the manufacturers of violating the New Mexico Antitrust Act and New Mexico Unfair Practices Act.
The manufacturers listed in the lawsuit include Gilead Sciences, Inc. Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences, LLC, and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. The medications at issue include VIREAD, TRUVADA, ATRIPLA, VEMLIDY, and DESCOVY.
A press release from the attorney general explains that the lawsuit alleges that the defendants engaged in coordinated schemes and anti-competitive agreements in order to repress the entry of cheaper generic versions of each drug into the market and to hinder the development of safer, more effective treatment drugs as a means to maintain a grip on the market for antiretroviral treatment. The lawsuit claims these actions resulted in inflated prices for the lifesaving drugs as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in anticompetitive profits to the defendants.
“Putting profits over the critical needs of New Mexican patients and risking their health and safety is unacceptable,” said Attorney General Balderas in a press release. “My office will hold anyone accountable who takes advantage of or harms our families.”
According to the attorney general, the profits were at the expense of government payors including the State of New Mexico and patients living with HIV.