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Massive US Lawsuit Charges Teva Pharmaceuticals with Price Fixing

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Teva Pharmaceuticals claims it will defend itself against lawsuits. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Teva Pharmaceuticals says it did nothing wrong, and that it will defend against lawsuits that allege price fixing.

The lawsuits are coming from 44 states in the United States. In response, the firm’s stock shares sank to their lowest level since November 2017.

Teva’s Chief Financial Officer Mike McClellan said at a meeting in Israel that the legal storm it is facing is neither new nor criminal in nature. “There have been no developments in this area. We take these accusations seriously, and we are going to defend ourselves.”

According to the Israeli Haaretz newspaper, citing the complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, Teva’s American unit and 19 other drug makers are alleged to have conspired to divide up the market for drugs to avoid competing and, in some cases, are said to have conspired to prevent prices from dropping or to raise them.

Teva has been developing and producing medicines to improve people’s lives for more than a century. It is a global leader in generic and specialty medicines with a portfolio consisting of over 35,000 products in nearly every therapeutic area. Around 200 million people around the world take a Teva medicine every day, and are served by one of the largest and most complex supply chains in the pharmaceutical industry.

“Prosecutors said Teva Pharmaceuticals USA had orchestrated matters to inflate drug prices – sometimes by more than 1,000% – and to stifle competition for generic drugs,” Haaretz wrote.

“The allegations in this new complaint, and in the litigation more generally, are just that – allegations,” Teva said in a statement afterwards. “Teva continues to review the issue internally and has not engaged in any conduct that would lead to civil or criminal liability.”

“The statements did little to assuage investor concerns, and Teva shares plummeted 10.7% in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange trading on Sunday to close at 46.66 shekels ($13.07),” the newspaper reported. “Teva also trades on the New York Stock Exchange, but news of the suit came after the market closed on Friday. The sharp drop in Teva shares, as well as at another pharma company, Opko Health, based on pre-opening orders, led to a six-minute delay in the start of TASE trading on Sunday. Opko finished 13.8% lower at 7.56 shekels on unrelated news. The TASE’s benchmark TA-35 index fell 0.6% for the day in light trading.”

The company’s management continued to look forward, announcing just three days ago the launch of a generic version of Delzicol®1 (mesalamine) delayed-release capsules, 400 mg, in the U.S.

Teva EVP and Head of North America Commercial, Brendan O’Grady said in a press release, “Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease and we’re proud to provide another treatment option for patients.”

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