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Israel drugmaker Teva CEO steps down

Israeli Teva is already the world's largest manufacturer of generic drugs -- non-branded, cheaper alternatives to branded drugs that have lost their patent
Jack Guez (AFP/File)
Recent decisions apparently prompted investors to lose faith in Vigodman's leadership

Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva announced on Tuesday that its chief executive officer Erez Vigodman was stepping down after just three years amid reports of a loss of investor confidence.

The surprise move comes after the value of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the world's largest maker of generic drugs, decreased dramatically over the past year.

"I believe that now is the right time for me to step down," Vigodman said in a statement. "It has been a privilege to lead Teva, and I am proud of all we have accomplished. I am confident that the company's future is bright."

Teva said it had appointed its chairman Yitzhak Peterburg as interim CEO. 

Vigodman, 57, took up his position on February 2014. 

Lionel Bonaventure (AFP/File)

Israeli media said the company took action after a series of recent decisions prompted investors to lose faith in his leadership.

Teva, meanwhile, is among six drug makers named in a civil lawsuit filed on Thursday by twenty American states for allegedly entering into illegal conspiracies to raise prices on two common generic drugs.

The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the District of Connecticut and alleges that the companies' top executives and salespeople inflated prices of their drugs by fixing their prices or allocating markets.

US Congress began investigating drug price fixing in 2014 in response to media reports detailing sharp rises in generic drug prices.

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