More troubles for Teva as Israeli authorities open bribery investigation

pharmafile | February 8, 2017 | News story | Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Teva, bribery 

Teva continues to struggle this week; after being hit with the bombshell that CEO Erez Vigodman, its third chief executive in five years, is to leave the company amidst a crisis of confidence, it is now under investigation by Israeli authorities following its settlement of a $519 million bribery fine.

Teva was originally slapped with the record-breaking fine in December last year by the US authorities under allegations the Israeli drug maker violated United States foreign bribery law through its practices in Russia, Ukraine and Mexico, where the company admitted to bribing government officials.

Now that Teva has agreed to a settlement, it is now under scrutiny by the Israeli police’s National Fraud Investigation Unit over events occurring between 2007 and 2012, who claims that the bribes in Mexico and Russia were disguised as client discounts, while those in Ukraine were masked as expenses or consultation fees.

The company confirmed that a similar case to the one it faced from the US has been launched, but was quick to point out that, relating to the specified period, “none of the people involved in the improper payments are currently employed at Teva.”

The new investigation piles pressure on the firm in addition to mismanagement and financial woes while one of its biggest money-makers, multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone, remains under serious threat from other generic competitors in the market. Despite a number of highly-publicised troubles, new interim CEO Yitzhak Peterburg made clear this week that they have “no impact on our ability to execute going forward”, stressing his confidence in “Teva and the Company’s long-term growth prospects.”

Matt Fellows

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