EU fines drug makers for keeping cheap medicine off market

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. The EU’s antitrust commissioner said that Teva pharmaceuticals and Cephalon, a company it later acquired, must pay the equivalent of $72 million. The EU says the companies had agreed among 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. Teva maintained its innocence and said it would appeal.