Generic drugmaker Apotex settles price-fixing lawsuit

Canadian generic drugmaker Apotex said on Thursday it has paid $100m in connection with an ongoing U.S. investigation of a pharmaceutical price-fixing cartel, the latest blockbuster corporate fine in the United States.

The company also agreed to help the U.S. Department of Justice investigate competitors, Apotex said in a statement.

The settlement is Apotex’s largest cash payment ever in connection with a legal matter, the statement said.

All of its employees will also have their names permanently removed from any documents at the DOJ’s request, the company said.

The DOJ found “a violation of the antitrust laws relating to trade practices in relation to the manufacture and sale of generic drugs,” according to the press release.

Since 2015, a number of big US corporations have been convicted of misconduct related to the price fixing of consumer goods and paid tens of millions of dollars in fines.

Among them are biotech company Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., which pleaded guilty in 2016 to false claims regarding its drugs, and Johnson & Johnson.

Barry Sherman, founder of Apotex, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in connection with an alleged pharmaceutical price-fixing cartel. (Johnathan Silveira/San Francisco Chronicle/Harrison McClary/ via REUTERS)

Barry Sherman, who died in December 2017, was a drug distributor and head of Apotex for nearly four decades.

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