NEW DELHI: Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc, USA has been charged with conspiring to fix prices for generic drugs, the US Department of Justice said in a statement on Tuesday.
Glenmark allegedly conspired with pharmaceutical company Apotex Corp and other generic drug companies to increase prices of cholesterol medication pravastatin and other generic drugs, the department said.
Following the news, shares of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd tanked 5% on BSE. At 12:20 pm, the stock traded at ₹429.20 on the BSE, down 4.66% from its previous close.
Glenmark said it strongly disagreed with the charges. “We will continue to vigorously defend against these allegations that we know to be false, and we are confident the overwhelming evidence will make that clear," the company said in a statement.
The charge was filed in US District Court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The price-fixing conspiracy allegedly took place from 2013 to 2015 and caused a loss to victims of at least $200 million, according to the department.
The charge against Apotex was resolved in May by a deferred prosecution agreement in which the company agreed to pay $24 million.
Glenmark is the fifth company to be charged in the US over the last 13 months in connection with anti-trust violations in the generic pharmaceutical industry.
“By cheating through fixing prices, generic drug companies artificially raised prices even though prescription drug costs were already sky high," said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the department’s Antitrust Division.
The Antitrust Division will not hesitate to charge these companies, and litigate where necessary, particularly where such crimes resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in overcharges for life-saving medications, Delrahim added.
The previous corporate charges, including the charge against Glenmark’s co-conspirator Apotex, were resolved by deferred prosecution agreement. Four senior executives have also been charged. Three entered guilty pleas and the fourth is awaiting trial, the department said.