Teva indicted by US gov't for alleged price-fixing

Teva Photo: Sivan Faraj

The indictment in a Philadelphia court claims that the anticompetitive conduct of Teva led to consumers overpaying by at least $350 million.

The US Justice Department's antitrust division has indicted Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) in the Philadelphia Federal Court on charges of price collusion, fixing bids and allocating customers. The indictment claims that the anticompetitive conduct of Teva led to consumers overpaying by at least $350 million.

The indictment refers to a range of generic drugs including Pravastatin for lowering cholesterol, and drugs for treating arthritis, skin conditions, blood clots, brain cancer and cystic fibrosis. According to the indictment, the offenses took place between May 2013 and December 2015.

Justice Department antitrust division assistant attorney-general Makan Delrahim said, "The investigation ensures that companies that blatantly cheat consumers of the benefits of free markets are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. 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."

Three other companies Sandoz, Taro and Apotex have agreed to pay penalties totaling $425 million for price-fixing while an indictment is pending against Glenmark but Teva insists it has been involved in no wrongdoing.

Teva described the indictment as "deeply disappointing" and said that having carried out an internal investigation that concluded that it had not been involved in any price-fixing, it would strenuously defend the allegations. Teva added that it has attempted to reach a resolution with the Justice Department, but it "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."

The price fixing allegations is one of three major legal affairs currently confronting Teva in the US. The pharmaceutical company is also accused of fuelling opioid addiction and of taking kickbacks in order to increase sales of its branded multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone.

Teva's share price closed 0.93% down on Wall Street last night at $9.54, giving a market cap of $10.532 billion.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 26, 2020 © Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Teva Photo: Sivan Faraj
Teva Photo: Sivan Faraj
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