Former Sandoz exec admits to price-fixing collusion

Feb. 17, 2020

The former head of Novartis’ generics unit, Sandoz, has pleaded guilty for his participation in a long-running price fixing scheme.

According to the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ), Hector Armando Kellum has admitted to his role in fixing the prices of some generic drugs between 2013 and 2015.

The price-fixing probe started five years ago and has grown to include investigations into several major generics companies including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Mylan NV. So far, Kellum is the fourth executive to be charged in the investigation and the third to plead guilty. The DOJ said that Kellum worked with a marketing executive at Taro Pharmaceutical Industries to illegally rig bids for off-patent medications. 

Late last year, Teva, Taro and other drugmakers were reportedly in talks with the DOJ to settle the investigation, but so far, no deal has been announced. 

In addition to the DOJ investigation, several of the drugmakers are also facing a lawsuit brought by 48 state attorneys general, along with lawsuits from two health insurers.

Read the Bloomberg report.