Blister pack with dollars instead of pills Investigators say that even a small price hike inannual sales over several years adds up to billions of additionalcost billed to consumers. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Generic drug makers, once considered the good guy underdogs of the pharmacy industry,may not be as innocent as they purport to be. An antitrust lawsuit that started two years agoand involved just two companies has expanded to include 16companies and more than 300 generic drugs.

“This is most likely the largest cartel in the history of theUnited States,” Joseph Nielsen, an assistant attorney general andantitrust investigator in Connecticut who has been a leading forcein the probe, said in an interview with The Washington Post, citing the volume of drugsin the schemes and the total number of companies and individualsinvolved.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.