Three generic firms shell out $447M more to settle federal price fixing allegations

Generic drug firms Taro Pharmaceuticals USA, NovartisSandoz, and Apotex have agreed with the US Department of Justice to pay $447.2 million on top of the more than $400 million in criminal penalties they already paid to resolve alleged violations that they illegally collaborated on price, supply and allocation of customers with other pharma manufacturers. Each of the companies entered a five-year corporate integrity agreement, which includes internal monitoring and price transparency provisions, among other checks and balances. New York-based Taro will pay almost half of that latest sum, or $213.2 million, for alleged violations involving the nonsteroidal drug etodolac, and nystatin-triamcinolone cream and ointment to treat
skin infections
. Sandoz agreed to pay $185 million related to alleged issues with benazepril HCTZ, used to treat
, and clobetasol, a corticosteroid used to treat skin conditions. “The conduct at issue here occurred at Sandoz from March 2013 through December 2015 in direct contravention of the company’s values, policies and trainings in place at the time. The individuals implicated in the underlying conduct are no longer employed by the company,” Sandoz said in a statement. And Florida-based Apotex agreed to pay $49 million in connection with its sale of pravastatin, a drug used to treat high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Apotex is also part of another ongoing investigation involving pravastatin price-fixing allegations, involving Teva Pharmaceuticals and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals. This latest $447 million payout also follows the payment of separate criminal penalties, in which Taro paid $205.6 million and admitted to conspiring with two other generic drug companies to fix prices on certain generic drugs, while Sandoz paid another $195 million and admitted to conspiring with four other generic drug companies to fix prices on certain generic drugs, and Apotex paid $24.1 million and admitted to conspiring to increase and maintain the price on pravastatin.