EU fines Teva and Cephalon for keeping cheap sleep disorder medicine off the market

pharmafile | November 27, 2020 | News story | Medical Communications  

The European Union has fined Teva and Cephalon for colluding to keep a cheap alternative sleep disorder medicine off the market. 

Teva acquired Cephalon in 2011, and the EU says the pair must pay $72 million for agreeing between themselves to delay the launch of Teva’s cheaper version of the Cephalon drug Modafinil. In regards to this agreement, Teva received beneficial side deals alongside other payments. 

“Teva’s and Cephalon’s pay-for-delay agreement harmed patients and national health systems, depriving them of more affordable medicines,” commented Margrethe Vestager, the EU Antitrust Commissioner. 

Teva responded in a statement: “We continue to believe the modafinil patent settlement agreement did not infringe EU competition law in relation to the principles” laid out by the EU’s court of justice. “We are planning to file an appeal.”

Modafinil treats daytime sleepiness. Cepahlon’s branded version is called Provigil and accounted for more than 40% of Cephalon’s turnover. A cheap alternative would have severely cut the company’s business. 

Conor Kavanagh

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