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Policy

Teva to pay record fine over bribery charges

by Glenn Hess, special to C&EN
January 2, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 1

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries agreed to pay $519 million to settle U.S. criminal and civil allegations that it paid bribes to government officials in Russia, Ukraine, and Mexico between 2002 and 2012 to secure business for its medications. The Israel-based company, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of generic drugs, will pay the biggest criminal fine ever imposed by the U.S. government against a pharmaceutical company for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The law, jointly enforced by the Justice Department and the Securities & Exchange Commission, prohibits the payment of bribes to foreign officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. Teva allegedly made more than $214 million in illicit profits by bribing officials to increase its market share, obtain regulatory approvals, and gain favorable drug purchase and prescription decisions, according to the federal government. The improper conduct did not involve U.S. sales. “While the conduct that resulted in this investigation ended several years ago, it is both regrettable and unacceptable, and we are pleased to finally put this matter behind us,” says Erez Vigodman, Teva CEO.

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