Sandoz Inc., a generic pharmaceutical company headquartered in New Jersey, was charged for conspiring to allocate customers, rig bids, and fix prices for generic drugs, the Department of Justice announced. A four-count felony charge was filed today in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, charging Sandoz with participating in four criminal antitrust conspiracies, each with a competing manufacturer of generic drugs and various individuals. This represents the third pharmaceutical company to admit to criminal antitrust charges in the Antitrust Division’s ongoing investigation. The charged conspiracies took place between 2013 and 2015.
The Antitrust Division also announced a deferred prosecution agreement resolving the charges against Sandoz, under which the company agreed to pay a $195 million criminal penalty and admitted that its sales affected by the charged conspiracies exceeded $500 million. Under the deferred prosecution agreement, Sandoz has agreed to cooperate fully with the Antitrust Division’s ongoing criminal investigation. As part of the agreement, the parties will file a joint motion, which is subject to approval by the Court, to defer for the term of the DPA any prosecution and trial of the charges filed against the defendant.
“This significant resolution is a critical step toward ensuring a free and open marketplace for the competitive pricing of generic drugs,” said Special Agent in Charge Scott Pierce, U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General. “The outstanding work by the legal and investigative teams effectively quashed an environment of bid rigging, market allocation and price fixing within the generics industry. Along with our partners at the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General will continue to aggressively investigate this type of detrimental behavior.”