The antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday announced price fixing charges against the U.S. arm of Teva Pharmaceuticals as part of a years-long, industry-wide investigation into the artificial inflation of generic drug prices by some of the world’s largest drugmakers.
Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. was charged with three counts of conspiring to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate customers for generic drugs, the government said.
According to the DOJ, Teva agreed with a number of other generic drugmakers to raise prices, rig bids, and allocate customers for a wide range of medications including drugs used to treat high cholesterol, arthritis, seizures, brain cancer, and cystic fibrosis.
A spokesperson for Teva did not immediately return a request for comment.
In the past, Teva has denied any wrongdoing related to price fixing and suggested that it would be prepared to fight any charges.
Teva is the seventh company to be charged in connection with the investigation; five others have already reached settlements with the federal government.
Those companies include Taro Pharmaceuticals, Apotex, and Sandoz, a subsidiary of Novartis; Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has also been charged and is awaiting trial.
“Price fixing and bid rigging is a crime, and the American people—who rely on these drugs to treat serious ailments—are the ones who pay the price when companies like Teva conspire to raise their costs,” James A. Dawson, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, said in a statement.
$426 million. That’s the total criminal penalties that five other companies that have settled charges related to the investigation have paid, according to Bloomberg.