By: Marion Sadowsky
Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has been the target of a US Justice Department investigation into whether or not it conspired to inflate drug prices.
The Justice Department is just days away from deciding – or not – to file criminal charges. Many industry watchers are speculating that the Trump administration will choose not to go after the nation’s single biggest source of generic drugs during the pandemic.
“It is a high-stakes gamble that could affect millions of Americans who rely on Teva’s dozens of inexpensive generic drugs, as well as its brand-name products like Copaxone, for multiple sclerosis, and Ajovy, for migraines. Teva officials say criminal charges could cripple the Israeli company and potentially leave it unable to sell drugs to federal programs like Medicare,” the New York Times recently pointed out. “For years, the Justice Department and state prosecutors have been investigating what they describe as a conspiracy by pharmaceutical companies to increase the prices of popular drugs. The department has already extracted guilty pleas and $224 million in penalties from four other drug companies.”
In fact, Teva has been quite active in helping to combat the ravages of the coronavirus. It has continuously worked since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to support the efforts of governments and health services to curb the impact of the virus, as it points out on its web site. Its global manufacturing network has been tirelessly focused on securing and scaling production of both API and finished doses for potential treatments that may prove essential in treating the condition.
Executives have also donated nearly 18 million units of hydroxychloroquine and 500,000 units of azithromycin to more than 26 countries. The firm has also quickly mobilized to address emerging needs around the world.
In the United States, for example, it has donated more than10 million hydroxychloroquine doses to hospitals and refocused our Mount Sinai partnership, which supports patients with chronic conditions, towards coping with COVID-19. In Israel, the company donated 2 million hydroxychloroquine units to the Ministry of Health, supported government-led programs to assist older people who may be isolated, and supported the Israeli National Aid Society. And in China, it donated 9,600 packs of azithromycin to 15 hospitals in Hubei.
“We are continuously assessing our portfolio in support of COVID-19 treatment needs, and our global manufacturing network is focused on securing and scaling production of both API and finished doses for potential treatments,” the company said. “We do this while continuing to supply our vast portfolio of medicines to other patients. Teva will continue to work with governments and international organizations to support emerging needs related to this crisis.”