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US accuses Israel’s Teva of fixing drug prices

Justice Department says between 2013 and 2015 Teva and several co-conspirators agreed to ‘fix prices, rig bids, and allocate customers for generic drugs

A man walks out of Teva Pharmaceutical facility building in Neot Hovav, Israel, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
A man walks out of Teva Pharmaceutical facility building in Neot Hovav, Israel, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

NEW YORK — The US Justice Department on Tuesday charged Israeli generic drug giant Teva of illegally fixing drug prices between 2013 and 2015.

Teva and several co-conspirators agreed to “fix prices, rig bids, and allocate customers for generic drugs” including the popular cholesterol-regulating medicine Pravastatin, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Patients would have paid a total of $350 million more than they should have, the department said.

Five companies investigated in the case have already paid heavy fines to avoid prosecution.

Sandoz, a subsidiary of the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, agreed to pay $195 million in March, and the American subsidiary of the Israeli group Taro Pharmaceuticals agreed to pay $205.7 million in July.

Other companies involved include Apotex, which agreed to pay a $24.1 million fine in May, and Glenmark, which was indicted by a grand jury in July.

Teva, which sold $17 billion worth of drugs last year, was also accused earlier this month by US authorities of artificially inflating the reimbursement price for its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone for patients in the government-run Medicare program.

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