May 31, 2019 / 6:15 PM / a month ago

Heritage Pharmaceuticals to pay $7 million to settle price-fixing allegations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Heritage Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay more than $7 million to settle allegations that it fixed the prices of several medicines, including a key diabetes drug, the Justice Department said.

The company, a subsidiary of India-based Emcure Pharmaceuticals, is accused of working with other generic drug makers to fix prices and rig bids for medicines like glyburide, a diabetes drug.

The company also settled allegations that it paid kickbacks for drugs that were funded by federal healthcare programs, the Justice Department said. The drugs included glyburide, the blood pressure medicine hydralazine and an asthma drug named theophylline, the department said.

Heritage said in a statement that it had revamped its leadership team in the wake of the allegations.

“We are pleased to put these issues behind us and focus on Heritage’s future,” said William Marth, chief executive of the Heritage Group, North America and Europe, in an email statement.

Two former Heritage executives, Jeffrey Glazer and Jason Malek, agreed to plead guilty in Philadelphia in 2017 after being accused of fixing the prices of an antibiotic, doxycycline hyclate, and working to split up the market for glyburide.

The Justice Department has a probe underway into the generic drug industry after years of complaints over fast-rising drug prices. Soaring drug prices from both branded and generic manufacturers have triggered outrage across the political spectrum, from President Donald Trump, a Republican, to progressive Democrats including U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is running for president.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; editing by Bernadette Baum and Steve Orlofsky

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