Monday, February 10, 2014

DOJ Subpoenas Teva in Marketing Probe

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. TEVA.TV +1.85%  said it received a subpoena from the Justice Department seeking information related to the sales and marketing of its Copaxone multiple sclerosis drug and its Azilect Parkinson's disease treatment.

Teva said the government is looking into possible violations of the federal False Claims Act and is seeking information dating back to the beginning of 2006. The company also said it is in the process of complying with the subpoena but didn't give further details in its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Copaxone is Teva's top-selling drug and is expected to face generic competition this year. Last week, the company reported Copaxone's sales in the fourth quarter rose 8% to $1.14 billion, making up about 20% of its top line.

Starting in 2012, Teva received subpoenas and informal document requests from the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, which were looking into possible violations of U.S. antibribery law. In the filing on Monday, Teva reiterated that it is conducting a voluntary inquiry into certain business practices and has hired independent legal counsel to assist in its investigation.

According to the Justice Department and the SEC, which jointly enforce the law, doctors and other employees of government-run overseas hospitals qualify as foreign officials. As a result, the agencies consider some industry practices, such as paying a doctor to encourage the physician to buy a medicine, in violation of the act if the doctor works for a foreign state-owned institution.

The government investigation also looked at several other major drug companies.

Write to Tess Stynes at

No comments: