Teva to Get $50m Back in Bribery Case Settlement

Payment is to cover part of penalties drug maker paid to U.S., Israel

The logo of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.
Amir Cohen / REUTERS

Teva Pharmaceuticals is due to get back part of the money it paid in penalties from the directors and executives who allegedly were responsible for the company’s bribery-related violations, under an agreement filed with a Tel Aviv court on Thursday.

The drug maker said the insurance companies that cover the directors and executives for liability had agreed to pay it $50 million in exchange for immunity from any lawsuits filed against them.

Judge Khaled Kabub of the Tel Aviv District Court, who has been overseeing legal action connected with the affair, has to approve the settlement.

The payment is connected with penalties the Israeli company incurred three years ago totaling $519 million to settle allegations that it paid millions of dollars in bribes to doctors and civil servants in Russia, Ukraine and Mexico. The payments were made in 2006-2012 to promote sales of its Copaxone multiple sclerosis drug. Last year Teva paid another 75 million shekels ($21.2) to the Israeli government in the same affair.

No bribes were alleged to have been paid in the United States or Israel, but the company was in violation of laws barring corrupt practices in other countries.

Angry over the cost to the company, a Teva shareholder, Shlomo Talmor, began the process of filing a class action suit by seeking internal documents related to the affair. In response, Teva agreed to set up an independent committee to examine the bribery affair and determine who inside the company was responsible.

The committee produced its conclusions in a 165-page report three months, in which it recommended negotiating a settlement with the insurance companies.

None of the publicly available documents names the directors and managers involved, but the affair took place while, among others, Shlomo Yanai was CEO, and Erez Vigodman, Yitzhak Peterburg, Chaim Hurvitz and Dan Ziskind were directors.