Drugmakers hiked prices 1,000% in massive price-fixing scheme, states allege | Ars Technica


Twenty leading drug companies—including Teva Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Novartis, and Mylan—were in cahoots for years to fix and dramatically inflate the prices of more than 100 generic drugs, in some cases to raising prices “well over 1,000 percent,” according to a lawsuit filed late last week by 44 states.The alleged scheme was intended to ensure that each company was a “responsible competitor” who was “playing nice in the sandbox” to get its “fair share” of profits from the drugs. Those drugs included pills, capsules, ointments, and cream. They range from oral antibiotics, blood thinners, cancer drugs, contraceptives, statins, anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-depressants, blood pressure medications, drugs used to treat HIV, and drugs for ADHD. A full list of the generic drugs can be found here.”We all know that prescription drugs can be expensive,” said New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal in a statement. “Now we know that high drug prices have been driven in part by an illegal conspiracy among generic drug companies to inflate their prices.”

Source: Drugmakers hiked prices 1,000% in massive price-fixing scheme, states allege | Ars Technica

Verizon Thinks It’s A Good Idea To Mock New Jersey Taxpayers After Ripping Them Off For Years | Techdirt

We’ve noted a few times how Verizon has a rich history of taking taxpayer money, subsidies and tax breaks, then promising fiber deployment that never occurs. When it then comes time for local municipalities to hold the telco’s feet to the fire, campaign contributions ensure any investigation is short lived. It happened in Pennsylvania, it happened in New York City, and it recently happened in New Jersey, when state officials let Verizon off the hook for a 1993 promise to evenly deploy fiber across the state in exchange for billions in benefits.

Shortly after state officials let Verizon walk away from its obligations, they also granted Verizon exemption from regulations requiring it continue servicing DSL customers whose lines were paid for in large part thanks to billions in subsidies. As we’ve noted, companies like AT&T and Verizon are hanging up on customers they don’t want to upgrade, and forcing them instead to notably more expensive and capped wireless services. Many customers would prefer Verizon maintain or upgrade their fixed-line broadband connections, since they’ve paid an arm and a leg for them.

About fifty annoyed municipalities have now formed an alliance aimed at holding Verizon’s feet to the fire. Collectively, they’re trying to explore ways to hold Verizon accountable, require it to deliver promised upgrades, or at the very least maintain existing DSL lines until something better comes along. Verizon’s response? To mock these people as Luddites:

“But Verizon New Jersey spokesman Lee Gierczynski has called this “misplaced fear” resulting from “misinformation and misunderstanding about copper networks, fiber networks and the reliability of those networks.” “This is a classic example of how some people fear new technology so they reactively reject it instead of accepting it, no matter how irrational that fear may be,” Gierczynski said.

 

Source: Verizon Thinks It’s A Good Idea To Mock New Jersey Taxpayers After Ripping Them Off For Years | Techdirt

New Jersey Cop Demands Camera From Eyewitness After Police Dog Allowed To Maul Prone Suspect

If you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to hide, right? That’s what the government tells us when it wants to erect cameras and fund domestic surveillance efforts. So, what do you tell a police officer who demands a citizen hand over their phone? Even if the officer has done something wrong, he still can at least attempt to hide it. And even if the effort fails, he still likely has nothing to fear. That’s the imbalance of power at work and it leads directly to this sort of thing.

New Jersey police may have gone too far when they took the cell phone from an onlooker who recorded their encounter with a suspect who was mauled by a police dog and later died.

The man, Phillip White, had dog bites all over his body last week, his lawyer said, and a jarring video shows cops struggling to pull the dog away.

A police officer took the video from a witness who was recording the arrest — possibly in violation of the law — but the footage was later obtained by NBC Philadelphia.

Link (Techdirt)