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US charges Teva for generic drug price-fixing plot

Company maintains it has not committed any wrongdoing

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has charged Teva Pharmaceuticals for conspiring with competitors in a generic drugs price-fixing probe.

The DoJ is investigating allegations that Teva conspired with other generic drugmakers to hike prices of commonly used medications, including a high cholesterol drug.

According to Reuters, a person familiar with the matter said the charges came after Teva refused to agree to a settlement and admit to wrongdoing.

However, Teva is maintaining that it did not commit any crime, and said in a statement that “it firmly rejects the allegations and will vigorously defend the Company in court”.

“Today’s charge reaffirms that no company is too big to be prosecuted for its role in conspiracies that led to substantially higher prices for generic drugs relied on by millions of Americans,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim in a statement.

In May last year, 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.

Other drugmakers indicted in the wide-ranging probe, including Apotex Corp, Taro Pharmaceutical Industries and Sandoz have previously admitted their roles in the conspiracies and agreed to pay penalties, according to the DoJ.

According to Teva, the company has tried to reach a resolution with the DoJ, but that the agency “has shown an unwillingness to consider alternatives that would not deeply impact Teva and the stakeholders who depend on the Company, including the patients who benefit from our medicines.”

Article by
Lucy Parsons

26th August 2020

From: Regulatory

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