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Teva among generic drugmakers hoping to settle US antitrust probe

A number of companies are accused of colluding on drug prices

Teva logo

Teva Pharmaceuticals is among one of a number of generic drugmakers allegedly looking to resolve a criminal antitrust probe initiated by the US Department of Justice, according to Bloomberg.

The DoJ claims that the accused generic drug makers colluded to maintain high prices of widely-prescribed drugs for more than five years, which cost federal health programmes billions of dollars.

In May, a wide-ranging lawsuit was filed in the US by 44 states, claiming price fixing for dozens of widely-used generic medicines. A total of 20 pharma companies were cited in the lawsuit – including Teva, Novartis’ Sandoz unit, Mylan and Pfizer – which are accused of ‘multi-billion dollar fraud’.

The allegations include unlawfully discouraged competition, elevated prices and an ingrained culture of collusion. Among the accused, Teva allegedly substantially raised the prices of 112 generic drugs by as much as 1,000% and coordinated prices with the producers of 88 additional generic medicines.

According to Bloomberg, Teva is hoping to resolve the antitrust probe with a deferred prosecution agreement, in which the companies would admit to some of the allegations, pay fines and cooperate with the inquiry to avoid indictment.

"We continue to cooperate with the DoJ’s investigation. As with any government investigation or litigation, we are willing to entertain possible resolution but only if it makes sense for the company, our shareholders and the patients that we serve. We will continue to defend ourselves vigorously in these matters," said Kelley Dougherty, a Teva spokesperson.

As well as Teva, India-domiciled drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical has also been in talks with the DoJ to settle the allegations.

Back in August, US politicians also accused Teva, Heritage Pharmaceuticals and Mylan of allegedly blocking the justice agency from gathering drug pricing information.

The politicians, including potential presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Elijah Cummings, asked the company for the same data on sales and expenditures they originally sought in 2014 when an initial probe was launched.

They also requested that the companies share communications related to the original inquiry, plus documents that identify all phone calls that took place between the respective companies.

Following the news that Teva is in talks with the DoJ, its shares were up 6.5%.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

26th November 2019

From: Regulatory

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