Shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NYSE:TEVA) were down about 1% after the company disclosed a federal investigation into its marketing practices. Both Teva's primary money-maker, Copaxone, which treats multiple sclerosis, and Azilect, used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, will be the drugs in question during the investigation, which will track events dating back to 2006. If wrongdoing is found, there will probably be a settlement.
In this video, Motley Fool health-care analyst David Williamson notes that while he isn't concerned that this will dramatically affect Teva, such a settlement could come at a crucial time for the company. Paying out billions of dollars in a settlement could seriously affect Teva's flexibility, just as its big earner Copaxone begins facing generic competition. The company is currently trying to get aggressive in the face of this patent cliff, but having this legal issue on the horizon to settle may force the company to keep some of its powder dry at just the wrong time.