FILE PHOTO: The logo of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is seen during a news conference hold by its CEO, Kare Schultz, to discuss the company’s 2019 outlooks in Tel Aviv, Israel February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

(Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department charged Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TEVA.TA) on Tuesday with conspiring with competitors to raise prices for generic drugs.

The decision follows Teva’s refusal to agree to a settlement that would have required paying a criminal penalty and admitting wrongdoing, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Justice Department has been investigating allegations the company colluded with other drugmakers to push up the prices of widely used pharmaceuticals, including a high cholesterol drug.

“Today’s charge reaffirms that no company is too big to be prosecuted for its role in conspiracies that led to substantially higher prices for generic drugs relied on by millions of Americans,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim said in a statement.

In the superseding indictment filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Teva is charged with three counts of conspiring with companies that include Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (GLEN.NS), Apotex Corp, Taro Pharmaceutical Industries (TARO.N) and Sandoz Inc, the statement said.

Lawyers for Teva had met with Justice Department officials in the spring to discuss a potential settlement, but Teva walked away from the talks in April, the New York Times reported in May.

Reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Paul Simao, Leslie Adler and Richard Pullin

Via Reuters Finance

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