Saturday, October 31, 2020

Teva claws back $50M from former execs, board members to pay for 2016 foreign bribery settlement

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When Teva forfeited $519 million to the U.S. government over foreign bribery charges back in 2016, it was meant as a move to clear the drugmaker’s name.

Now, Teva is asking former leadership to pony up for their end of the agreement.

Former executives and board members of the Israeli drugmaker will shell out $50 million to cover their end of the settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

They’ll also pay a $22 million share of the outlay to Israel’s State’s Attorney Office, according to Calcalist. The names of the former execs and board members were not disclosed.

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The $50 million clawback agreement follows a series of shareholder lawsuits against Teva after it inked the pair of 2016 settlements.

All told, the company raked in $276 million in profits from its arrangement to shell out millions to unnamed foreign officials in Ukraine, Russia and Mexico between 2007 and 2012, Calcalist said.

Read MoreFlorida Pharmacist Convicted in $100M Pharmacy Fraud Scheme

The $50 million payout must still be approved by a Tel Aviv district court.

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At the time, Teva’s settlement was one of the largest federal payouts on record. It followed an internal investigation in 2012 that found the drugmaker was likely liable for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Teva fired its corporate fraud investigator and promised sweeping overhauls of its leadership structure and “problematic” business deals.

But the 2016 settlement wasn’t the first and wouldn’t be the last of Teva’s run-ins with the U.S. legal system.

In 2015, Teva inked a separate $1.2 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in a pay-for-delay scheme said to prop up the list price of the drugmaker’s narcolepsy drug Provigil.

In that case, Teva’s Cephalon unit pushed for a patent settlement that kept Provigil competitors out of the market, pushing up prices for the drug, according to the FTC. Proceeds from the settlement were reimbursed to payers forced to pay a premium for Provigil.

In a more recent deal, Teva agreed to pay $85 million to the state of Oklahoma in May on charges the company deceitfully marketed its opioid products and helped inflame the state’s addiction epidemic.

Read MoreOklahoma: OSBI Investigates State Board Of Pharmacy Director For Bribery

The deal followed CEO Kåre Schultz’s claim that the company wouldn’t settle any of the opioid litigation it faced at the state or national level.

The judge in the Oklahoma case briefly stalled the settlement in early June—tanking Teva’s stock to pre-2000 levels in the process—before approving it two weeks later.

Teva was also one of 20 generics makers targeted in 2017 a multistate lawsuit for an alleged price-fixing scheme to prop up the cost of certain generic drugs—sometimes by as much as 1,000%.

A former Connecticut attorney general called the collusion scheme “the largest cartel case in the history of the United States” with Teva acting as ringleader of the effort. That case, which also names generics giant Mylan, is still working through federal court.

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