Teva, an Israeli-based pharma, has quite a market in generic drugs for high cholesterol, blood clots, and skin conditions. However, in an indictment filed by the Justice Department last week, Teva is accused of engaging in price-fixing and bid-rigging with its competitors. The indictment alleges Teva and other pharmas were allocating customers — deciding who would win which bids and just divvying up the market accordingly. This strategy cuts way back on the need for sales efforts. But, it also cuts into illegality. According to the indictment, the Teva employee who spearheaded the market fixes sent almost 80% of the 941 phone and text messages to competitors in 2014. That employee has been working with the Justice Department but appears to be a “swing” witness. Her story has changed.
Teva attempted negotiations with Justice Department officials for a settlement, but the dastardly Justice Department insisted on an admission. Teva was not of a mind to provide such, hence, the indictment. The company with $17 billion in revenue last year does not believe that it did anything that violated the law. Employees in other companies involved have sung like canaries, so we shall see.
One tidbit, Teva used its work on a COVID-19 vaccine as a reason for going easy on them. The Justice Department was not moved, except to indict.