Antitrust regulators in the European Union charged Teva Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:TEVA) today, accusing the company of arranging an illegal deal with Cephalon to delay the sale of a cheap generic version to Cephalon’s sleep disorder drug, modafinil.
The EU competition officials have unleashed a series of fines against an array of companies in recent years over similar deals, including U.S. giant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ).
The ‘pay-for-delay’ deals cost European consumers billions of euros, according to the antitrust regulators.
Teva arranged a deal with Cephalon to settle a lawsuit regarding alleged infringement of Cephalon’s patents for modafinial. Teva, the world’s largest generic drugmaker, later acquired Cephalon in 2011.
The EU Commission said the arrangement may have hiked the price of modafinil for European consumers.
“The patent settlement agreement between Cephalon and Teva may have caused substantial harm to EU patients and health service budgets,” the EU competition enforcer said in a statement, according to Reuters.
But the generic drugmaker pushed back against the group’s analysis.
“We do not believe that Cephalon and Teva entered into any anti-competitive behaviour,” the company reportedly said.
Teva could be fined up to 10% of its global turnover if it is found guilty of breaking EU antitrust regulations.
Material from Reuters was used in this report.
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