Generic-Drug Firms Fall as U.S. Threatens to Sue for Damages

(Bloomberg) -- Shares of generic-drug makers including Mylan NV and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. fell after the Justice Department’s antitrust division said it might sue them for damages in a price-fixing probe.

If taxpayers were overcharged because drugmakers conspired to raise the price of drugs, the Justice Department will consider suing to seek damages, Makan Delrahim, the division’s chief, said in remarks Friday at George Mason University’s law school in Virginia.

“To the extent that taxpayers have had to pay that bill, I think the taxpayers should recover,” he said. “We will get involved on the civil side and recover damages for the U.S. government.”

Mylan dropped as much as 3.1 percent after the comments and traded down 0.6 percent to $46.25 at 1:37 p.m. in New York. Teva’s U.S. depositary receipts dropped as much as 2.8 percent and were down 1.5 percent to $20.41 and Endo International Plc fell 5.6 percent to $6.92.

The three drugmakers are among more than a dozen companies targeted by the Justice Department and state attorneys general in a multi-year investigation into generic drug price-fixing. So far, the probe has led to guilty pleas from two former executives of Heritage Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Emcure Ltd.

Delrahim described the investigation as “very broad.”

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