Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. must face charges filed against it over the illegal transfer of ill-gotten royalties to charitable organizations. Massachusetts District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton overruled Teva’s motion to have the case dismissed, rejecting the company’s claim that since it did not control how the donations were dispersed then it was not in violation of U.S. Federal laws.
In its decision, the court found that this was only a small factor in the suit and that the government had more than enough to its case to justify allowing it to move forward. In his ruling, Justice Gorton said, “The complaint plausibly alleges, however, that Teva did far more than ‘hope and expect,’. The government has alleged, in sufficient detail, a scheme by which Teva practically guaranteed that its own donations would result in the submission of Medicare claims for Copaxone.”
The suit, U.S. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc et al, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, No. 20-11548, was filed in August 2020. According to the indictment, Teva is accused of engaging in the coordinating of prices, tenders, and of dividing customers between its partners in the conspiracy. Teva is also accused of artificially inflating the prices its medications.
Teva is facing three cases of antitrust violations that occurred between May 2013 and December 2015.
The Antitrust Department of the US Department of Justice claims in the lawsuit that Teva committed violations of the Antitrust Law by inflating prices artificially in the amount of $350 million. The lawsuit also alleges that Teva fixed the prices of its generic version of the drug Pravachol, which is designed to lower blood cholesterol levels.
Other drugs whose prices were allegedly fixed include ones that treat Rheumatoid arthritis, seizures, pain, medications for skin diseases, and medications for blood thinning.
The case also concerns drugs for the treatment of brain cancer, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and excess blood pressure.
At the time, Teva said in response to the indictment: “Teva is disappointed that the US Department of Justice has chosen to pursue this lawsuit. Teva has been investigating this matter for more than four years and concluded that it did not participate in price coordination. Based on our internal investigation, Teva vehemently denies the allegations. The law. Teva cooperated throughout the investigation and tried to reach an arrangement that would serve the interests of the company, its stakeholders, and the patients it serves. The Ministry of Justice refused to consider alternatives that would not severely harm Teva and its stakeholders, including patients who rely on our drugs.”
“Even as we defend the company in this process, Teva will continue to focus on its vital role in the US healthcare system, where it ensures access to affordable drugs, including millions of patients with multiple chronic diseases. In the U.S. alone, one in 10 of the 3.69 billion generic prescriptions given every year it is a product of Teva.”