Teva Pharmaceutical says it will defend claims it was involved in price-fixing in the US

Teva Pharmaceutical’s chief financial officer has reiterated the company has done nothing wrong in the wake of a price-fixing lawsuit filed by 44 US states. Mike McClellan told a conference in Israel yesterday that the suit was an amended one and not new, while stressing it was civil and not criminal.

Teva is the world’s largest generic drugmaker and employs 800 people across Ireland. It has a huge manufacturing plant in Waterford where it has 500 people making respiratory drugs.

It also employs around 50 staff in Baldoyle, Dublin, making Sudocrem, and manufactures Nicobrand nicotine products in Coleraine, Co Derry, as well as making hormonal products and running a research and development facility in Co Antrim.

“There have been no developments in this area,” Mr McClellan said.

We take these accusations seriously and we are going to defend ourselves.

The Israeli company’s US unit and 19 other drug companies conspired to divide up the market for drugs to avoid competing and, in some cases, conspired to prevent prices from dropping or to raise them, according to the complaint filed late last week in the US District Court in Connecticut.

Prosecutors said Teva Pharmaceuticals USA had orchestrated to inflate drug prices — sometimes by more than 1,000% —and stifle competition for generic drugs.

“The allegations in this new complaint, and in the litigation more generally, are just that – allegations,” Teva said in a statement. Teva’s Tel Aviv-listed shares fell almost 11% at one stage in yesterday trade.

Earlier this month, Teva forecast a sharp rise in revenue next year from its new migraine drug Ajovy and reported a slightly smaller-than-expected drop in first-quarter profit. It is counting on Ajovy and Huntington’s treatment Austedo to help revive its fortunes after restructuring to tackle a debt crisis.

Teva has reduced its spending around €2bn in recent years. Last year, it ran down a testing laboratory at Dundalk to set up a single European testing laboratory in Zagreb, Croatia, on the basis of costs.

Reuters and Irish Examiner staff

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