European Commissioner for Europe fit for the Digital Age Margrethe Vestager speaks during a media conference on European Data Governance at EU headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. (Stephanie Lecocq, Pool via AP)
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has fined two pharmaceutical companies for colluding to keep a cheap alternative to a sleep disorder medicine off the market for their profit and at the expense of patients.
EU antitrust commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said that Teva pharmaceuticals and Cephalon, a company it later acquired, must pay 60.5 million euros ($72 million) for agreeing between themselves to delay for years the launch of Teva's cheaper version of Cephalon's blockbuster Modafinil. In return for the delay, Teva got beneficial side deals and some payments.
Vestager said that “Teva’s and Cephalon’s pay-for-delay agreement harmed patients and national health systems, depriving them of more affordable medicines."
Modafinil treats excessive daytime sleepiness and under the brand name Provigil it accounted for more than 40% of Cephalon's turnover. A cheap alternative would have had a serious impact on the company, and the EU argued that Cephalon enticed Teva in 2005 to stay out of its market. In 2011, Teva acquired Cephalon.
Teva said in a statement that it maintained its innocence. “We continue to believe the modafinil patent settlement agreement did not infringe EU competition law in relation to the principles" laid out by the EU's court of justice. “We are planning to file an appeal."
7 Infrastructure Stocks That May Help Rebuild America
Despite their disagreements (real or imagined) on almost everything, Democrats and Republicans alike love infrastructure projects. These are easy wins for Congressional leaders seeking re-election. And they typically spur job creation, which contributes to economic growth.
With that in mind, it’s ironic that, in the last four years, the United States Congress did not pass an infrastructure bill.
Nevertheless, even with (and maybe because of) the gridlock that looks to be in the country’s future, the infrastructure looks to be on the front burner again. The economic recovery is still far from complete. Unfortunately, neither are America’s roads, energy grid, telecommunications systems, and the like. That means that it would seem like a good policy for a Biden administration to look at an infrastructure bill.
Biden will be under pressure to endorse the $1.5 trillion infrastructure package that the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed in July. But the package may need to be tweaked a bit since it currently includes climate change initiatives that have kept the bill from advancing through the Senate.
However, it appears that the economy will need some significant juice after whatever this winter brings in terms of the virus. And if calmer heads prevail (we can always hope), there may be a major infrastructure bill to stimulate job creation. And we’ve identified seven stocks that should bear watching if this comes to pass.
View the "7 Infrastructure Stocks That May Help Rebuild America".