Michigan AG Dana Nessel joins lawsuit against generic drug makers

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When you get a generic drug you might not be saving money.

Several major drug companies are facing a big lawsuit over price fixing. 

"There's a new sheriff in town and the fact of the matter is, we're not going to take this lying down any more," said Dana Nessel.

Four months in as the Michigan State Attorney General, Nessel is cracking down on what she calls injustice in the pharmaceutical business. 

"Some of these medications - many of them were inflated a thousand times higher than they should have been," Nessel said.

The attorney general is joining forces with a coalition of 44 attorney generals to file a lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 of the nation's largest generic drug makers. 

They are accusing them of working to artificially inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition and restrain trade for more than 100 different generic drugs.

It's the second lawsuit that's been filed in this ongoing and expanding investigation

"When people wonder why they can't afford medication, well this is the reason why," Nessel said. "I'm glad so many states decided that it was time to step in."

The generic drugs include creams, antibiotics and tablets. Nessel says these alleged actions are hurting the livelihood of residents who rely on the low cost of generic drugs to survive.

"People are literally dying because of it," Nessel said. "Every kind of medical ailment you can imagine - cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, depression, HIV, the list goes on and on."

The lawsuit, which also goes after some company executives, seeks damages, civil penalties and actions by the court to restore competition to the generic drug market and ultimately lower prices and restitution for those harmed by these alleged practices.

"It means that prices are going to be brought down," Nessel said. "Because you are not going to have the ability of these companies to collude together to fraudulently inflate the price of these essential medications."