Teva to pay $225 million, divest cholesterol drug to settle price-fixing charges

(Reuters) -Teva Pharmaceutical will pay $225 million and divest its copycat version of a cholesterol drug as part of its settlement of price-fixing charges, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Monday.

Teva, the world’s largest generic drugmaker, will pay the fine over five years – $22.5 million due each year from 2024 through 2027, and $135 million due in 2028, the company said in a separate statement.

Prosecutors in 2020 charged Teva and India’s Glenmark Pharmaceuticals of conspiring to fix prices of generic drugs. Glenmark will also pay a penalty of $30 million to resolve similar charges, the DOJ said.

Teva and Glenmark will have to divest their respective versions of a generic cholesterol drug, pravastatin, that was a core part of the companies’ price-fixing conspiracy, the DOJ said.

Both companies will face prosecution if they violate the terms of the agreements, and if convicted, would likely face mandatory debarment from federal health care programs, the DOJ said.

Teva said it has also agreed to donate $50 million worth of two generic products to humanitarian organizations.

As part of the deals with the DOJ, Glenmark and Teva both admitted to participating in fixing the price of pravastatin.

Teva also admitted to the participation of a single former employee, who left the company in 2016, in two other price-fixing schemes between 2013 and 2015, apart from pravastatin.

The involvement affected essential medicines including, pravastatin, and two other drugs – skin infection treatment clotrimazole and tobramycin, a medicine for eye infections.

(Reporting by Pratik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)