3 companies pay California $70 million for delaying drugs

Three pharmaceutical companies have to pay California nearly $70 million to settle allegations that they delayed drugs to keep prices high, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Monday.

The bulk of the money will come from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and its affiliates for paying to delay a generic narcolepsy drug, Provigil, from entering the market for nearly six years.

Teva is paying $69 million, which Becerra says is the largest pay-for-delay settlement received by any state.

The second, $760,000 settlement is with Teva, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Teikoku Pharma USA over keeping a genetic alternative to the pain patch Lidoderm from entering the market for nearly two years.

Teva said it is paying $200,000 to cover the state’s legal costs after settling similar federal claims earlier this year. Neither Endo nor Teikoku responded to requests for comment.

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