Compliance Today (August 2020)
On May 7, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced a deferred prosecution agreement, in which Apotex Corp. agreed to pay a $24.1 million criminal penalty for price-fixing. The Florida-based company conspired with competitors to increase and maintain the price of pravastatin, a commonly prescribed cholesterol medication that lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The Antitrust Division released vertical merger guidance in January and has been actively investigating fraud during the pandemic.
According to a Department of Justice press release, “Apotex is the fourth company to be charged in connection with antitrust violations in the generic pharmaceutical industry. The previous three corporate charges were resolved by deferred prosecution agreements. Four individuals have also been charged. Three entered guilty pleas and the fourth is awaiting trial.”