Teva wins controversial PhRMA bid despite protests from branded rivals

Teva headquarters

To the dismay of some of its brand-only rivals, Teva, the world’s largest generics maker, is joining their ranks as a member of pharma’s trade association.

Friday, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) announced it had admitted the Israeli company, along with rare-disease drugmaker Alexion and specialty pharma Jazz. AMAG Pharmaceuticals and Horizon Pharma also became full members, transitioning from research associates.

Some of Teva’s peers won’t exactly be welcoming it with open arms. AbbVie, for one, recently argued against letting the copycat giant in; it claimed that doing so would dilute the association’s “emphasis on innovation”--and spur “internal conflicts” between Teva and companies whose patents it seeks to invalidate.

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Teva has always believed it fit in just fine. While it may be the top dog in generics, Teva also brings in a pretty sizeable branded-sales haul, too, thanks to multiple sclerosis blockbuster Copaxone, and to a lesser extent, the brands it acquired in its Cephalon buyout. The Petah Tivka-based pharma racked up more than $6 billion in branded sales in 2015, vastly outdoing some of PhRMA’s brand-only members.

Plus, having Teva--which has long focused on bringing cheap meds to market--on the roster could help PhRMA dodge some of the price-gouging accusations coming its way, industry watchers have speculated. PhRMA said in a statement that adding Teva and the others would help guide it “as we advocate for patient-centric policies to enhance the private market and address costs holistically.” 

Or will it? Horizon and Jazz have both been called out--alongside specialty peers including Valeant and Mallinckrodt--for hiking prices. Given their use of that strategy--plus PhRMA’s “effort to distinguish its membership from sharp pricers”--their inclusion is “intriguing,” Bernstein’s Ronny Gal wrote in a Monday note to clients. “It seems like a sign of high confidence by the industry group in their position on Capitol Hill,” he said.

- read PhRMA's release

Special ReportTop 20 generics companies by 2014 revenue - Teva

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