The U.S. Department of Justice announced late Tuesday that Teva Pharmaceutical ( TEVA 2.36% ) has been charged with three counts of conspiring to fix prices of generic drugs, among other crimes.
The Justice Department alleges that Teva took part in three conspiracies intending to "fix prices, rig bids and allocate customers" for such goods. It did so in collusion with peer companies active in the manufacture, sale, and distribution of generic drugs, the DOJ charges. The affected medications included cholesterol drug pravastatin, in addition to numerous other drugs that treat afflictions such as arthritis, blood clots, and hypertension.
Teva is the seventh company to be charged in the ongoing federal investigation. Five of those cases were resolved with deferred prosecution agreements, and one is yet to go to trial.
"Today's charges, the latest in a series of law enforcement actions taken against large drug companies, confirm that this kind of criminal behavior in the generic pharmaceutical industry will not be tolerated," said James Dawson, the acting assistant director in charge of the FBI's field office.
Tuesday night, Teva issued a press release stating, "The Company has been investigating this matter for over four years and has concluded that Teva did not participate in price fixing. Based on our internal review, Teva firmly rejects the allegations and will vigorously defend the Company in court." It added that it has cooperated fully with the DOJ's investigation.
The statutory maximum penalty for each charge is $100 million. However, this amount can go much higher based on the gain from the transgressions, or by the financial loss suffered by their victims.