SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
☒ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019
☐TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to
Commission file number 001-36326
Endo International plc
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
First Floor, Minerva House, Simmonscourt Road
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4,
(Address of principal executive offices)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Ordinary shares, nominal value $0.0001 per share
The Nasdaq Global Select Market
Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act:
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).
The aggregate market value of the voting common equity (ordinary shares) held by non-affiliates as of June 28, 2019 (the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter) was $670,135,609 based on a closing sale price of $4.12 per share as reported on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on that date. Ordinary shares held by each officer and director and each beneficial owner of 10% or more (as calculated on June 28, 2019) of the outstanding ordinary shares of the registrant have been excluded since such persons and beneficial owners may be deemed to be affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes. The registrant has no non-voting ordinary shares authorized or outstanding.
The number of Ordinary shares, nominal value $0.0001 per share outstanding as of February 18, 2020 was 226,833,617.
Documents Incorporated by Reference
Portions of the registrant’s proxy statement pursuant to Regulation 14A relating to its 2020 Annual General Meeting, to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission subsequent to the date hereof, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K. Such proxy statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission not later than 120 days after the conclusion of the registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2019.
ENDO INTERNATIONAL PLC
INDEX TO FORM 10-K
FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2019
Statements contained or incorporated by reference in this document contain information that includes or is based on “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (Securities Act) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (Exchange Act). These statements, including estimates of future revenues, future expenses, future net income and future net income per share contained in the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” section of this document, as well as statements regarding future financing activities, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include the information concerning our possible or assumed results of operations. We have tried, whenever possible, to identify such statements by words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “estimate,” “plan,” “project,” “forecast,” “will,” “may” or similar expressions. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about the growth of our business, our financial performance and the development of our industry. Because these statements reflect our current views concerning future events, these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Investors should note that many factors, as more fully described in Part I, Item 1A of this report under the caption “Risk Factors,” and as otherwise enumerated herein, could affect our future financial results and could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements contained or incorporated by reference in this document.
We do not undertake any obligation to update our forward-looking statements after the date of this document for any reason, even if new information becomes available or other events occur in the future, except as may be required under applicable securities laws. You are advised to consult any further disclosures we make on related subjects in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and with securities regulators in Canada on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR). Also note that in Part I, Item 1A, we provide a cautionary discussion of the risks, uncertainties and possibly inaccurate assumptions relevant to our business. These are factors that, individually or in the aggregate, we think could cause our actual results to differ materially from expected and historical results. We note these factors for investors as permitted by Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. You should understand that it is not possible to predict or identify all such factors. Consequently, you should not consider this to be a complete discussion of all potential risks or uncertainties.
Item 1. Business
Unless otherwise indicated or required by the context, references throughout to “Endo,” the “Company,” “we,” “our” or “us” refer to financial information and transactions of Endo International plc and its subsidiaries.
Endo International plc is an Ireland-domiciled specialty branded and generics pharmaceutical company. Endo International plc was incorporated in Ireland in 2013 as a private limited company and re-registered effective February 18, 2014 as a public limited company. Endo International plc is a holding company that conducts its operations through its subsidiaries.
Our ordinary shares are traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (NASDAQ) under the ticker symbol “ENDP.” References throughout to “ordinary shares” refer to Endo International plc’s ordinary shares (1,000,000,000 authorized, par value of $0.0001 per share). In addition, we have 4,000,000 euro deferred shares outstanding (par value of $0.01 per share).
The address of Endo International plc’s headquarters is Minerva House, Simmonscourt Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland (telephone number: 011-353-1-268-2000).
Our focus is on pharmaceutical products and we target areas where we believe we can build leading positions. We use a differentiated operating model based on a lean and nimble structure, the rational allocation of capital and an emphasis on high-value research and development (R&D) targets. While our primary focus is on organic growth, we evaluate and, where appropriate, execute on opportunities to expand through the acquisition of products and companies in areas that we believe serve patients and customers while offering attractive growth characteristics and margins. We believe our operating model and the execution of our corporate strategy will enable us to create shareholder value over the long-term.
For branded products, we seek to invest in products or product candidates that have inherent scientific, regulatory, legal and technical complexities and market such products under recognizable brand names that are trademarked. For products we develop for the United States (U.S.) market, after the completion of required clinical trials and testing, we seek approvals from regulatory bodies such as through the submission of New Drug Applications (NDAs) or Biologics License Applications (BLAs) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Upon U.S. approval, patents included in such NDAs are listed in a publication referred to as the Orange Book. We believe that our patents, the protection of discoveries in connection with our development activities, our proprietary products, technologies, processes, trade secrets, know-how, innovations and all of our intellectual property are important to our business and achieving a competitive position. However, there can be no assurance that any of our patents, licenses or other intellectual property rights will afford us any protection from competition. Additional information is included throughout this Part I, Item 1.
For generic products, which are the pharmaceutical and therapeutic equivalents of branded products and are generally marketed under their generic (chemical) names rather than their brand names, our focus is on high-barrier-to-entry products, including first-to-file or first-to-market opportunities that are difficult to formulate or manufacture or face complex legal and regulatory challenges. In the U.S., a first-to-file product refers to a generic product for which the Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) containing a patent challenge (or Paragraph IV certification) to the corresponding branded product’s FDA Orange Book-listed patents was the first to be filed with the FDA. In the U.S., manufacturers that launch first-to-file products, after success in litigating or otherwise resolving related patent challenges, and receive final FDA approval have the opportunity for 180 days of generic marketing exclusivity from competing generic products other than authorized generics. A first-to-market product refers to a product that is the first marketed generic equivalent of a branded product for reasons apart from statutory marketing exclusivity. This can occur, for example, when a generic product is difficult to formulate or manufacture. First-to-market products allow manufacturers to mitigate risks from competitive pressures commonly associated with commoditized generic products. Additional information is included throughout this Part I, Item 1.
The four reportable business segments in which we operate are: (1) Branded Pharmaceuticals, (2) Sterile Injectables, (3) Generic Pharmaceuticals and (4) International Pharmaceuticals. Additional information about our reportable business segments is included throughout this Part I. The results of operations of our reportable business segments are discussed in Part II, Item 7 of this report “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” under the heading “RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.” Across all of our reportable business segments, we generated total revenues of $2.91 billion, $2.95 billion and $3.47 billion in 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Endo International plc is a highly focused specialty branded and generics pharmaceutical company that, through its operating subsidiaries, seeks to deliver quality medicines to patients in need through excellence in development, manufacturing and commercialization. Our strategic priorities include reshaping our organization for success, building our portfolio and capabilities for the future and driving margin expansion and, over the longer term, de-levering. Specific areas of management’s focus include:
Branded Pharmaceuticals: Accelerating performance of organic growth drivers in our Specialty Products portfolio and expanding margin in our Established Products portfolio. As further described below under the heading “Select Development Projects,” management is also focused on investing in key pipeline life cycle management and other development opportunities, including in the areas of medical therapeutics and medical aesthetics.
Sterile Injectables: Focusing on developing branded injectable products with inherent scientific, regulatory, legal and technical complexities, expanding the product portfolio to include other dosages and technologies and developing or acquiring high-barrier-to-entry, generic injectable products that are difficult to manufacture.
Generic Pharmaceuticals: Focusing on developing or acquiring high-barrier-to-entry products, including first-to-file or first-to-market opportunities that are difficult to formulate or manufacture or face complex legal and regulatory challenges.
International Pharmaceuticals: Operating in regulated markets where physicians play a significant role in choosing the course of therapy and seeking to expand distribution of certain of our products outside of the U.S.
Going forward, our primary focus will be on organic growth. However, we will evaluate and, where appropriate, execute on opportunities to expand through acquisitions of products and companies. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in executing on our strategy.
Our Competitive Strengths
To successfully execute our strategy, we must continue to capitalize on our following core strengths:
Experienced and dedicated management team. We have a highly skilled and customer-focused management team in critical leadership positions across Endo. Our senior management team has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry and a proven track record of developing businesses and creating value. This experience includes improving business performance through organic revenue growth, operational excellence and through the identification, consummation and integration of licensing and acquisition opportunities.
Operational excellence. We have efficient, effective and high-quality manufacturing capabilities across a diversified array of dosage forms in the U.S. and India. We believe our comprehensive suite of technology, manufacturing and development competencies increases the likelihood of success in commercializing high-barrier-to-entry products and obtaining first-to-file and first-to-market status on future products, yielding more sustainable market share and profitability. For example, our capabilities in the rapidly growing U.S. market for sterile products afford us with a broader and more diversified product portfolio and a greater selection of targets for potential development.
We believe that our competitive advantages include our integrated team-based approach to product development that combines our formulation, regulatory, legal, manufacturing and commercial capabilities; our ability to introduce new generic equivalents for brand-name products; our quality and cost-effective production; our ability to meet customer and/or patient expectations and the breadth of our existing sterile injectables and generic product portfolio offerings.
Growth of our branded Specialty Products portfolio while leveraging the strength of our Established Products portfolio. We have assembled a portfolio of branded prescription products offered by our Branded Pharmaceuticals segment to treat and manage conditions in urology, urologic oncology, endocrinology, pain, bariatrics and orthopedics. Additional information on these product portfolios is included below under the heading “Products Overview.”
Focus on the differentiated products of our sterile injectables and generics portfolios. By leveraging operational efficiency, our Sterile Injectables and Generic Pharmaceuticals segments aim to be low-cost producers of high-barrier-to-entry products, including first-to-file and first-to-market opportunities that are difficult to formulate or manufacture or face complex legal and regulatory challenges. We believe products with these characteristics will provide longer product life cycles and higher profitability than products without these characteristics. These segments also aim to manufacture products that meet the evolving needs of hospitals and health systems, including ready-to-use sterile injectable products, in a cost efficient manner.
Continuing proactive diversification of our business. Our primary focus is on organic growth. However, we will evaluate and, where appropriate, execute on opportunities to expand through acquisitions of products and companies in areas that will serve patients and customers and that we believe will offer attractive growth characteristics and margins. In particular, we will look to continue to enhance our product lines by acquiring or licensing rights to additional products and regularly evaluating selective acquisition opportunities.
R&D expertise. Our R&D efforts are focused on the development of a balanced, diversified portfolio of innovative and clinically differentiated product candidates. Through our Sterile Injectables and Generic Pharmaceuticals businesses, we seek out and develop high-barrier-to-entry products, including first-to-file or first-to-market opportunities. We periodically review our R&D pipeline in order to better direct investment toward those opportunities that we expect will deliver the greatest returns. We will continue to evaluate strategic R&D opportunities, with an aim to develop assets with inherently lower risk profiles and clearly defined regulatory pathways. Our current R&D pipeline consists of products in various stages of development. For additional detail, see “Select Development Projects.” Our R&D and regulatory affairs staff is based primarily in India and Pennsylvania.
Targeted sales and marketing infrastructure. Our sales and marketing activities are based in the U.S. and Canada and primarily focus on the promotion of our Specialty Products portfolio and Sterile Injectables segment. We market our Specialty Products directly to specialty physicians, including those specializing in urology, orthopedics, pediatric endocrinology and bariatric surgery. Our sales force also directs its marketing efforts on retail pharmacies and other healthcare professionals. We distribute our Specialty Products through independent wholesale distributors, but we also sell directly to retailers, clinics, government agencies, doctors, independent retail and specialty pharmacies and independent specialty distributors. Our marketing policy is designed to provide physicians, pharmacies, hospitals, public and private payers and appropriate healthcare professionals with products and appropriate medical information. We work to gain access to various formularies (lists of recommended or approved medicines and other products) and reimbursement lists by demonstrating the qualities and treatment benefits of our products within their approved indications.
Our dedicated Sterile Injectables sales and marketing team is focused on health systems and national group purchasing organizations (GPOs). Our customers’ growing complexity requires us to engage directly with key stakeholders and decision makers. Our experienced sales and marketing team is key to growing our existing portfolio and executing on new product launches.
The following table displays the revenues from external customers of our Branded Pharmaceuticals segment for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 (in thousands):
Other Specialty (1)
Total Specialty Products
Other Established (2)
Total Established Products
Total Branded Pharmaceuticals (3)
Products included within Other Specialty are NASCOBAL® Nasal Spray and AVEED®. Beginning with our first-quarter 2019 reporting, TESTOPEL®, which was previously included in Other Specialty, has been reclassified and is now included in the Established Products portfolio for all periods presented.
Products included within Other Established include, but are not limited to, LIDODERM®, EDEX® and VOLTAREN® Gel.
Individual products presented above represent the top two performing products in each product category for the year ended December 31, 2019 and/or any product having revenues in excess of $100 million during any of the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 or 2017 or $25 million during any quarterly period in 2019 or 2018.
Specialty Products Portfolio
Endo commercializes a number of products within the market served by specialty distributors and specialty pharmacies and in which healthcare practitioners can purchase and bill payers directly (the buy and bill market). Our current offerings primarily relate to two distinct areas: (i) urology treatments, which focus mainly on Peyronie’s disease (PD) and testosterone replacement therapies (TRT) for hypogonadism and (ii) orthopedics/pediatric endocrinology treatments, which focus on Dupuytren’s contracture (DC) and central precocious puberty (CPP). Key product offerings in this portfolio include the following:
XIAFLEX®, which is the first and currently the only FDA-approved non-surgical treatment for DC (for adult patients with an abnormal buildup of collagen in the fingers that limits or disables hand function). It is also the first and currently the only FDA-approved non-surgical treatment for PD (for adult men with a collagen plaque and a penile curvature deformity of thirty degrees or greater at the start of therapy).
SUPPRELIN® LA, which is a soft, flexible 12-month hydrogel implant based on our hydrogel polymer technology that delivers histrelin acetate, a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist, and is indicated for the treatment of CPP in children.
NASCOBAL® Nasal Spray, which is a prescription medicine used as a supplement to treat vitamin B12 deficiency and is the only FDA-approved B12 nasal spray.
AVEED®, which is a novel, long-acting testosterone undecanoate for injection for the treatment of hypogonadism that is dosed only five times per year after the first month of therapy.
Established Products Portfolio
This portfolio’s current treatment offerings primarily relate to two distinct areas: (i) pain management, including products in the opioid analgesics and osteoarthritis pain segments and for the treatment of pain associated with post-herpetic neuralgia and (ii) urology, which focuses mainly on the treatment of hypogonadism. Key product offerings in this portfolio include, among others, the following:
PERCOCET®, which is an opioid analgesic approved for the treatment of moderate-to-moderately-severe pain.
TESTOPEL®, which is a unique, long-acting implantable pellet indicated for TRT in conditions associated with a deficiency or absence of endogenous testosterone.
LIDODERM®, which is a topical patch product containing lidocaine that is approved for the relief of pain associated with post-herpetic neuralgia, a condition thought to result after nerve fibers are damaged during a case of herpes zoster (commonly known as shingles).
EDEX®, which is a penile injection used to treat erectile dysfunction caused by conditions affecting nerves, blood vessels, emotions and/or a combination of factors.
VOLTAREN® Gel, which is a topical prescription treatment for the relief of joint pain associated with osteoarthritis in the knees, ankles, feet, elbows, wrists and hands.
The Company’s pain products, including opioid products, are managed as mature brands and are not and have not been actively promoted for years. In December 2016, the Company announced the elimination of its entire U.S. pain product field sales force.
The following table displays the revenues from external customers of our Sterile Injectables segment for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 (in thousands):
Ertapenem for injection
Other Sterile Injectables (1)
Total Sterile Injectables (2)
Products included within Other Sterile Injectables include ephedrine sulfate injection, treprostinil for injection and others.
Individual products presented above represent the top two performing products within the Sterile Injectables segment for the year ended December 31, 2019 and/or any product having revenues in excess of $100 million during any of the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 or 2017 or $25 million during any quarterly period in 2019 or 2018.
The Sterile Injectables segment includes a product portfolio of approximately 30 product families, including branded sterile injectable products that are protected by certain patent rights and have inherent scientific, regulatory, legal and technical complexities and generic injectable products that are difficult to formulate or manufacture or face complex legal and regulatory challenges. Our sterile injectables products are manufactured in sterile facilities in vial dosages and are administered at hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities. The product offerings in this segment include, among others, the following:
VASOSTRICT®, which is indicated to increase blood pressure in adults with vasodilatory shock who remain hypotensive despite fluids and catecholamines. VASOSTRICT® is the first and currently the only vasopressin injection with an NDA approved by the FDA.
ADRENALIN®, which is a non-selective alpha and beta adrenergic agonist indicated for emergency treatment of certain allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis.
Ertapenem for injection, the authorized generic of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.’s (Merck) Invanz®, which is indicated for the treatment of certain moderate-to-severe infections.
APLISOL®, which is a sterile aqueous solution of a purified protein derivative for intradermal administration as an aid in the diagnosis of tuberculosis.
Ephedrine sulfate injection, which is an alpha and beta adrenergic agonist and a norepinephrine-releasing agent indicated for the treatment of clinically important hypotension occurring in the setting of anesthesia.
Treprostinil for injection, which is used for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension.
The Generic Pharmaceuticals segment includes a product portfolio of approximately 150 generic prescription product families including solid oral extended-release, solid oral immediate-release, liquids, semi-solids, patches (which are medicated adhesive patches designed to deliver the pharmaceutical through the skin), powders, ophthalmics (which are sterile pharmaceutical preparations administered for ocular conditions) and sprays and includes products in the pain management, urology, central nervous system disorders, immunosuppression, oncology, women’s health and cardiovascular disease markets, among others.
Generic products are the pharmaceutical and therapeutic equivalents of branded products and are generally marketed under their generic (chemical) names rather than their brand names. Generic products are substantially the same as branded products in dosage form, safety, efficacy, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics and intended use, but are generally sold at prices below those of the corresponding branded products and thus represent cost-effective alternatives for consumers.
Typically, a generic product may not be marketed until the expiration of applicable patent(s) on the corresponding branded product unless a resolution of patent litigation results in an earlier opportunity to enter the market. For additional detail, see “Governmental Regulation.” However, our generics portfolio also contains certain authorized generics, which are generic versions of branded products licensed by brand drug companies under an NDA and marketed as generics. Authorized generics do not face the same regulatory barriers to introduction and are not prohibited from sale during the 180-day marketing exclusivity period granted to the first-to-file ANDA applicant. Our authorized generics include generic versions of our branded products including, for example, lidocaine patch 5% (LIDODERM®). We also aim to be a partner of choice to large companies seeking authorized generic distributors for their branded products. For example, in April 2019, we launched albuterol sulfate HFA inhalation aerosol (the authorized generic of Merck’s Proventil®) and, in July 2018, we launched colchicine tablets (the authorized generic of Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.’s (Takeda) Colcrys®).
Our International Pharmaceuticals segment includes a variety of specialty pharmaceutical products sold outside the U.S., primarily in Canada through our operating company Paladin Labs Inc. (Paladin). The key products of this segment serve growing therapeutic areas, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, pain, women’s health and oncology.
This segment also included: (i) our South African business, which was sold in July 2017 and consisted of Litha Healthcare Group Limited and certain assets acquired from Aspen Holdings in October 2015 (Litha) and (ii) our Latin American business, which was sold in October 2017 and consisted of Grupo Farmacéutico Somar, S.A.P.I. de C.V. (Somar).
Select Development Projects
XIAFLEX®, which contains the enzyme collagenase clostridium histolyticum (CCH), is currently approved by the FDA and marketed in the U.S. for the treatment of both DC and PD (two separate medical therapeutic indications). As further described in Note 11. License and Collaboration Agreements in the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part IV, Item 15 of this report, we in-licensed certain rights related to CCH pursuant to which we may, among other things, develop our XIAFLEX® product or other product candidates containing CCH for potential additional medical therapeutics indications.
In early 2020, we announced that we had initiated our XIAFLEX® development programs for the treatment of plantar fibromatosis and adhesive capsulitis.
Collagenase Clostridium Histolyticum - Medical Aesthetics
Our license rights relating to CCH also permit us to develop product candidates containing CCH for certain medical aesthetics indications. For example, we have rights to develop and globally market CCH for the treatment of cellulite. We are currently progressing our cellulite treatment development program. While based on the same enzyme, CCH for the treatment of cellulite is a different formulation and presentation with a different treatment regimen. In November 2019, we announced the FDA’s acceptance for review of the original BLA for CCH for the treatment of cellulite in the buttocks. The BLA is supported by the results of the RELEASE-1 and RELEASE-2 Phase 3 studies, as well as a clinical program. Trial subjects receiving CCH for the treatment of cellulite showed highly statistically significant levels of improvement in the appearance of cellulite with treatment, as measured by the trials’ primary endpoint. In addition, the RELEASE-1 trial passed 8 out of 8 key secondary endpoints and the RELEASE-2 trial passed 7 out of 8 key secondary endpoints. Finally, CCH for the treatment of cellulite was well-tolerated in the actively-treated subjects with most adverse events being mild to moderate in severity and primarily limited to the local injection area. The Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) date, or target action date, for the BLA has been set for July 6, 2020.
Subject to certain limitations, we have the right to further develop this same and/or other product candidates containing CCH for additional medical aesthetics indications.
Our remaining pipeline consists mainly of a variety of product candidates in our Sterile Injectables and Generic Pharmaceuticals segments. Our primary approach to developing generic products, including injectables, is to target high-barrier-to-entry generic product opportunities, including first-to-file or first-to-market opportunities that are difficult to formulate or manufacture or face complex legal and regulatory challenges as well as products that meet the evolving needs of hospitals and health systems. We expect such product opportunities to result in products that are either the exclusive generic or have two or fewer generic competitors when launched, which we believe tends to lead to more sustainable market share and profitability for our product portfolio. In our Sterile Injectables business, we also focus on developing branded injectable products with inherent scientific, regulatory, legal and technical complexities, as well as developing other dosage forms and technologies.
As of December 31, 2019, these two segments were actively pursuing approximately 120 product candidates, which included approximately 65 ANDAs pending with the FDA. Of the 65 ANDAs, approximately half represent first-to-file opportunities or first-to-market opportunities. These numbers do not include five sterile injectable product candidates relating to a second-quarter 2018 development, license and commercialization agreement with Nevakar, Inc.
We periodically review our development projects in order to better direct investment toward those opportunities that we expect will deliver the greatest returns. This process can lead to decisions to discontinue certain R&D projects that may reduce the number of products in our previously reported pipeline.
We primarily sell our branded and generic products to wholesalers, retail drug store chains, supermarket chains, mass merchandisers, distributors, mail order accounts, hospitals and government agencies. Our wholesalers and distributors purchase products from us and, in turn, supply products to retail drug store chains, independent pharmacies and managed care organizations (MCOs). Customers in the managed care market include health maintenance organizations, nursing homes, hospitals, clinics, pharmacy benefit management companies and mail order customers. Our current customer group reflects significant consolidation in recent years, marked by mergers and acquisitions and other alliances. Total revenues from direct customers that accounted for 10% or more of our total consolidated revenues during the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 are as follows:
Cardinal Health, Inc.
Revenues from these customers are included within each of our segments.
Some wholesale distributors have demanded that pharmaceutical manufacturers, including us, enter into distribution service agreements (DSAs) pursuant to which the wholesale distributors provide the pharmaceutical manufacturers with specific services, including the provision of periodic retail demand information and current inventory levels and other information. We have entered into certain of these agreements.
Our branded products compete with products manufactured by many other companies in highly competitive markets throughout the U.S. and internationally.
We compete principally through targeted product development and through our acquisition and in-licensing strategies, where we face intense competition as a result of the limited number of assets available and the number of competitors bidding on such assets. In addition to product development and acquisitions, other competitive factors with respect to branded products include product efficacy, safety, ease of use, price, demonstrated cost-effectiveness, marketing effectiveness, service, reputation and access to technical information.
Branded products often must compete with therapeutically similar branded or generic products or with generic equivalents. Such competition frequently increases over time. For example, if competitors introduce new products, delivery systems or processes with therapeutic or cost advantages, our products could be subject to progressive price reductions and/or decreased volume of sales. To successfully compete for business, we must often demonstrate that our products offer not only medical benefits, but also cost advantages as compared with other forms of care. Accordingly, we face pressure to continually seek out technological innovations and to market our products effectively.
Manufacturers of generic products typically invest far less in R&D than research-based companies and can therefore price their products significantly lower than branded products. Accordingly, when a branded product loses its market exclusivity, it normally faces intense price competition from generic forms of the product. Due to lower prices, generic versions, where available, may be substituted by pharmacies or required in preference to branded versions under third-party reimbursement programs.
This segment’s major competitors, including Mylan N.V. (Mylan), Allergan plc, Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, Horizon Therapeutics plc and Mallinckrodt plc, among others, vary depending on therapeutic and product category, dosage strength and drug-delivery systems, among other factors.
Several of this segment’s products, such as PERCOCET®, TESTOPEL® and LIDODERM®, face generic and/or other forms of competition. The degree of generic and/or other competition facing this segment could increase in the future.
This segment’s major competitors, including Hospira, Inc. (a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc.), Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC (Fresenius), Mylan and Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC, vary by product. A significant portion of our sales, including sales to hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities in the U.S., are controlled by a relatively small number of GPOs, including HealthTrust Purchasing Group, L.P., Premier Inc. and Vizient, Inc. Accordingly, it is important for us to have strong relationships with these GPOs and achieve on-time product launches in order to secure new bid opportunities.
Generic products generally face intense competition from branded equivalents, other generic equivalents (including authorized generics) and therapeutically similar branded or generic products. Our major competitors, including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, Mylan, Sandoz (a division of Novartis) and Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Amneal), among others, vary by product.
Consolidations of our customer base described above under the heading “Major Customers” have resulted in increased pricing and other competitive pressures on pharmaceutical companies, including us. Additionally, the emergence of large buying groups representing independent retail pharmacies and other distributors and the prevalence and influence of MCOs and similar institutions have increased the negotiating power of these groups, enabling them to attempt to extract various demands, including without limitation price discounts, rebates and other restrictive pricing terms. These competitive trends could continue in the future and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Newly introduced generic products with limited or no other generic competition typically garner higher prices relative to commoditized generic products. As such, our primary strategy is to compete with a focus on high-value, first-to-file or first-to-market opportunities, regardless of therapeutic category, and products that present significant barriers to entry for reasons such as complex formulation or regulatory or legal challenges. For additional detail, see “Our Competitive Strengths - Focus on the differentiated products of our sterile injectables and generics portfolios.”
Even if we are successful in launching generic products with statutory generic exclusivity, competitors may enter the market when such exclusivity periods expire, resulting in significant price declines. Consequently, maintaining profitable operations depends, in part, on our continuing ability to select, develop, procure regulatory approvals of, overcome legal challenges to, launch and commercialize new generic products in a timely and cost efficient manner and to maintain efficient, high quality manufacturing capabilities. For additional detail, see “Our Competitive Strengths - Operational excellence.”
Although our business is affected by the purchasing patterns and concentration of our customers, our business is not materially impacted by seasonality.
Patents, Trademarks, Licenses and Proprietary Property
We regard the protection of patents and other enforceable intellectual property rights that we own or license as critical to our business and competitive position. Accordingly, we rely on patent, trade secret and copyright law, as well as nondisclosure and other contractual arrangements, to protect our intellectual property. We have a portfolio of patents and patent applications owned or licensed by us that cover aspects of our products. These patents and applications generally include claims directed to the compounds and/or methods of using the compounds, formulations of the compounds, pharmaceutical salt forms of the compounds or methods of manufacturing the compounds. Our policy is to pursue patent applications on inventions that we believe are commercially important to the development and growth of our business. Certain patents relating to products that are the subject of approved NDAs are listed in the U.S. FDA publication, “Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations” (Orange Book). The table below contains a list from the Orange Book of patent expiration dates for certain products we market.
The Orange Book does not include a listing of patents related to biological products. Included in the table are certain products for which we own or license a BLA along with the date of expiration of certain relevant patents or regulatory exclusivity. In addition, we may have other relevant regulatory protection or patents that may extend beyond the expiration date listed in the table below. We may also obtain further patents or additional regulatory or patent exclusivity for one or more indications for a product in the future.
As of February 18, 2020, we held approximately: 234 U.S. issued patents, 36 U.S. patent applications pending, 454 foreign issued patents and 71 foreign patent applications pending. In addition, as of February 18, 2020, we had licenses for approximately 46 U.S. issued patents, 11 U.S. patent applications pending, 171 foreign issued patents and 64 foreign patent applications pending. The following table sets forth, as of February 18, 2020, the year of expiration relating to certain of our products:
Patent Expiration (1)(2)
NASCOBAL® Nasal Spray
Our license agreements for the patents in the table above extend to or beyond the patent expiration dates. See Note 11. License and Collaboration Agreements in the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part IV, Item 15 of this report for additional discussion about certain license agreements.
The expiration of a basic product patent or loss of patent protection resulting from a legal challenge normally results in significant competition from generic products or biosimilars against the originally patented product and can result in a significant reduction in revenues for that product in a very short period of time. In some cases, however, we can continue to obtain commercial benefits from product manufacturing trade secrets, patents on uses for products, patents on processes and intermediates for the economical manufacture of the active ingredients or patents for special formulations of the product or delivery mechanisms.
The effect of these issued patents is that they provide us with protection by virtue of our ability to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale and importing that which is covered by their claims. To achieve a competitive position, we also rely on trade secrets, non-patented proprietary know-how and continuing technological innovation, where patent protection is not believed to be appropriate or attainable. Many of our products are sold under trademarks. We also rely on confidentiality agreements with our employees, consultants and other parties to protect, among other things, trade secrets and other proprietary information.
There can be no assurance that any of our patents, licenses or other intellectual property rights will afford us any protection from competition or that our confidentiality agreements will not be breached, that we will have adequate remedies for any breach, that others will not independently develop equivalent proprietary information or that other third parties will not otherwise gain access to our trade secrets and other intellectual property.
Additionally, any pending or future patent applications made by us or our subsidiaries, our license partners or entities we may acquire in the future are subject to risks and uncertainties. The coverage claimed in any such patent applications could be significantly reduced before the patent is issued and there can be no assurance that any such applications will result in the issuance of patents or, if any patents are issued, whether they will provide significant proprietary protection or will be challenged, circumvented or invalidated. Because unissued U.S. patent applications are maintained in secrecy for a period of eighteen months and U.S. patent applications filed prior to November 29, 2000 are not disclosed until such patents are issued, and since publication of discoveries in the scientific or patent literature often lags behind actual discoveries, we cannot be certain of the priority of inventions covered by pending patent applications. Moreover, we may have to participate in interference and other inter-parties proceedings declared by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to determine priority of invention, or in opposition proceedings in a foreign patent office, either of which could result in substantial cost to us, even if the eventual outcome is favorable to us. There can be no assurance that any patents, if issued, will be held valid by a court of competent jurisdiction. An adverse outcome could subject us to significant liabilities to third parties, require disputed rights to be licensed from third parties or require us to cease using such technology. See Item 1A. Risk Factors - “Our ability to protect and maintain our proprietary and licensed third party technology, which is vital to our business, is uncertain.”
We may find it necessary to initiate litigation to enforce our patent rights, to protect our intellectual property or trade secrets or to determine the scope and validity of the proprietary rights of others. Litigation is costly and time-consuming and there can be no assurance that our litigation expenses will not be significant in the future or that we will prevail in any such litigation. See Note 15. Commitments and Contingencies in the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part IV, Item 15 of this report.
U.S. FDA and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
The pharmaceutical industry in the U.S. is subject to extensive and rigorous government regulation. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and other federal and state statutes and regulations govern or influence the testing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, storage, recordkeeping, approval, advertising, promotion, sale and distribution of pharmaceutical products. Noncompliance with applicable requirements can result in criminal prosecution, fines, civil penalties, recall or seizure of products, total or partial suspension of production and/or distribution, injunctions and refusal of the government to enter into supply contracts or to approve NDAs, ANDAs, BLAs and/or other similar applications.
FDA approval is typically required before any new pharmaceutical or biologic product can be marketed. An NDA or BLA is a filing submitted to the FDA to obtain approval of new chemical entities and other innovations for which thorough applied research is required to demonstrate safety and effectiveness in use. The process generally involves, among other things:
completion of preclinical laboratory and animal testing and formulation studies in compliance with the FDA’s Good Laboratory Practice regulations;
submission to the FDA of an Investigational New Drug application for human clinical testing, which must become effective before human clinical trials may begin in the U.S.;
approval by an independent institutional review board before each trial may be initiated and continuing review during the trial;
performance of human clinical trials, including adequate and well-controlled clinical trials in accordance with good clinical practices to establish the safety and efficacy of the proposed product for each intended use;
submission to the FDA of an NDA or BLA for marketing approval, which must include data from preclinical testing and clinical trials;
satisfactory completion of an FDA pre-approval inspection of the product’s manufacturing processes and facility or facilities to assess compliance with the FDA’s current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations and/or review of the Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls section of the NDA or BLA to assess whether the facilities, methods and controls are adequate to preserve the proposed product’s identity, strength, quality, purity and potency;
satisfactory completion of an FDA advisory committee review, if applicable; and
approval by the FDA of the NDA or BLA.
Clinical trials are typically conducted in three sequential phases, although the phases may overlap. Those phases include:
Phase 1 trials generally involve testing the product for safety, adverse effects, dosage, tolerance, absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and other elements of clinical pharmacology.
Phase 2 trials typically involve a small sample of the intended patient population to assess the efficacy of the compound for a specific indication, to determine dose tolerance and the optimal dose range and to gather additional information relating to safety and potential adverse effects.
Phase 3 trials are undertaken in an expanded patient population, typically at dispersed study sites, in order to determine the overall risk-benefit ratio of the compound and to provide an adequate basis for product labeling.
Each trial is conducted in accordance with certain standards under protocols that detail the objectives of the study, the parameters to be used to monitor safety and the efficacy criteria to be evaluated. Each protocol must be submitted to the FDA as part of the Investigational New Drug application. Clinical trials are also subject to regulatory inspections by the FDA and other regulatory authorities to confirm compliance with applicable regulatory standards. The process of completing clinical trials for a new product may take many years and require the expenditures of substantial resources. See Item 1A. Risk Factors - “The pharmaceutical industry is heavily regulated, which creates uncertainty about our ability to bring new products to market and imposes substantial compliance costs on our business, including withdrawal or suspension of existing products.”
As a condition of approval of an NDA or BLA, the FDA may require further studies, including Phase 4 post-marketing studies or post-marketing data reporting, such as evaluating known or signaled safety risks. Results of post-marketing programs may limit or expand the future marketing of the products and result in the FDA requiring labeling changes, including the addition of risk information.
For some products, the FDA may require a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) to confirm that a drug’s benefits outweigh its risks. REMS could include medication guides, physician communication plans or other elements. See Item 1A. Risk Factors - “The pharmaceutical industry is heavily regulated, which creates uncertainty about our ability to bring new products to market and imposes substantial compliance costs on our business, including withdrawal or suspension of existing products.”
In most instances, FDA approval of an ANDA is required before a generic equivalent of an existing or reference-listed drug can be marketed. The ANDA process is abbreviated in that the FDA waives the requirement of conducting complete preclinical and clinical studies and generally instead relies principally on bioequivalence studies. Bioequivalence generally involves a comparison of the rate of absorption and levels of concentration of a generic product in the body with those of the previously approved product. When the rate and extent of absorption of systemically acting test and reference drugs are considered the same under the bioequivalence requirement, the two products are considered bioequivalent and are generally regarded as therapeutically equivalent, meaning that a pharmacist can substitute the generic product for the reference-listed drug. Under certain circumstances, an ANDA may also be submitted for a product authorized by approval of an ANDA suitability petition. Such petitions may be submitted to secure authorization to file an ANDA for a product that differs from a previously approved product in active ingredient, route of administration, dosage form or strength. In September 2007 and July 2012, Congress re-authorized pediatric testing legislation, which now requires ANDAs approved via the suitability petition route to conduct pediatric testing. The timing of final FDA approval of an ANDA application depends on a variety of factors, including whether the applicant challenges any listed patents for the reference-listed drug and whether the manufacturer of the reference-listed drug is entitled to one or more statutory exclusivity periods during which the FDA is prohibited from approving generic products. In certain circumstances, a regulatory exclusivity period can extend beyond the life of a patent, thus blocking ANDAs from being approved even after the patent expiration date.
Certain of our products are or could become regulated and marketed as biologic products pursuant to BLAs. Our BLA-licensed products were licensed based on a determination by the FDA of safety, purity and potency as required under the Public Health Service Act (PHSA). Although the ANDA framework referenced above does not apply to generics of BLA-licensed biologics, there is an abbreviated licensure pathway for products deemed to be biosimilar to, or interchangeable with, FDA-licensed reference biological products pursuant to the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA). The BPCIA framework was enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and could be impacted by ongoing litigation regarding the legality of the PPACA. Under the BPCIA, following the expiration of a 12-year reference exclusivity period, the FDA may license, under section 351(k) of the PHSA, a biological product that it determines is biosimilar to, or interchangeable with, a reference product licensed under section 351(a) of the PHSA. Although licensure of biosimilar or interchangeable products is generally expected to require less than the full complement of product-specific preclinical and clinical data required for innovator products, the FDA has considerable discretion over the kind and amount of scientific evidence required to demonstrate biosimilarity and interchangeability.
Some pharmaceutical products are available in the U.S. that are not the subject of an FDA-approved NDA. In 2011, the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) Office of Compliance modified its enforcement policy with regard to the marketing of such “unapproved” marketed products. Under CDER’s revised guidance, the FDA encourages manufacturers to obtain NDA approvals for such products by requiring unapproved versions to be removed from the market after an approved version has been introduced, subject to a grace period at the FDA’s discretion. This grace period is intended to allow an orderly transition of supply to the market and to mitigate any potential related product shortage. Depending on the length of the grace period and the time it takes for subsequent applications to be approved, this may result in a period of de facto market exclusivity to the first manufacturer that has obtained an approved NDA for the previously unapproved marketed product.
Over-the-counter (OTC) products may, depending on ingredients and proposed label claims, be marketed pursuant to the OTC monograph process or could require NDA or ANDA approval. The OTC monograph process allows for OTC products to be marketed without pre-market approval and generally does not require clinical studies.
Laws and regulations impacting the pharmaceutical industry are constantly evolving. For example, the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act), which was signed into law on December 13, 2016, includes various provisions to accelerate the development and delivery of new treatments, such as those intended to expand the types of evidence manufacturers may submit to support FDA approval, to encourage patient-centered product development, to liberalize the communication of healthcare economic information to payers and to create greater transparency with regard to manufacturer expanded access programs. Central to the Cures Act are provisions that enhance and accelerate the FDA’s processes for reviewing and approving new products and supplements to approved NDAs. The Cures Act also included $1 billion in new funding to states to supplement opioid abuse prevention and treatment activities.
More recently, in December 2019, the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (FCAA 2020) became law. Section 610, titled “Actions for Delays of Generic Drugs and Biological Products,” provides generic (ANDA and 505(b)(2)) and biosimilar developers with a private right of action to obtain sufficient quantities of reference product from the brand manufacturer, or a generic or biosimilar manufacturer, necessary for approval of the developers’ generic or biosimilar product. If a generic or biosimilar developer is successful in its suit, the defendant manufacturer would be required to provide sufficient quantities of product on commercially-reasonable, market-based terms and may be required to pay the developer’s reasonable attorney’s fees and costs as well as financial compensation under certain circumstances. The purpose of section 610 is to promote competition by facilitating the timely entry of lower-cost generic and biosimilar products.
A sponsor of an NDA is required to identify, in its application, any patent that claims the drug or a use of the drug subject to the application. Upon NDA approval, the FDA lists these patents in a publication referred to as the Orange Book. Any person that files an ANDA or NDA under Section 505(b)(2) of the FFDCA must make a certification in respect to any listed patents for the reference drug. The FDA may not approve such an ANDA or 505(b)(2) application until expiration of the reference drug’s listed patents unless (i) the applicant certifies that the listed patents are invalid, unenforceable and/or not infringed by the proposed generic drug and gives notice to the holder of the NDA for the listed drug of the basis upon which the patents are challenged and (ii) the holder of the listed drug does not sue the later applicant for patent infringement within 45 days of receipt of notice. Under the current law, if an infringement suit is filed, the FDA may not approve the later application until the earliest of: (i) 30 months after submission, (ii) entry of an appellate court judgment holding the patent invalid, unenforceable or not infringed, (iii) such time as a court may order or (iv) expiration of the patent.
One of the key motivators for challenging patents is the 180-day marketing exclusivity period granted to the developer of a generic version of a product that is the first to have its ANDA accepted for filing by the FDA and whose filing includes a certification that the applicable patent(s) are invalid, unenforceable and/or not infringed (a Paragraph IV certification) and that otherwise does not forfeit eligibility for the exclusivity. Under the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, with accompanying amendments to the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act (the Hatch-Waxman Act), this marketing exclusivity would begin to run upon the earlier of the commercial launch of the generic product or upon an appellate court decision in the generic company’s favor or in favor of another ANDA applicant who had filed with a Paragraph IV certification and has tentative approval. In addition, the holder of the NDA for the listed drug may be entitled to certain non-patent exclusivity during which, depending on the type of exclusivity, the FDA either cannot accept or approve an application for a competing ANDA generic product or 505(b)(2) NDA product with the same active moiety for a protected condition of use.
The FDA also regulates pharmacies and outsourcing facilities that prepare “compounded” drugs pursuant to section 503A and 503B of the FFDCA, respectively. For instance, under section 503A of the FFDCA, pharmacies may compound drugs for an identified individual based on the receipt of a valid prescription order, or notation approved by the prescribing practitioner, that a compounded product is necessary for the identified patient. Similarly, under section 503B of the FFDCA, outsourcing facilities may compound drugs and sell them to healthcare providers, but not wholesalers or distributors. Although section 503A pharmacies and section 503B outsourcing facilities are subject to many regulatory requirements, compounded drugs are not subject to premarket review by the FDA and, therefore, may not have the same level of safety and efficacy as products subject to premarket review and approval by the FDA. Because they are not subject to premarket review, compounded drugs are frequently lower cost than either branded or generic products.
The FDA enforces regulations to require that the methods used in, and the facilities and controls used for, the manufacture, processing, packing and holding of drugs conform to cGMPs. The cGMP regulations the FDA enforces are comprehensive and cover all aspects of manufacturing operations. Compliance with the regulations requires a continuous commitment of time, money and effort in all operational areas.
The FDA conducts pre-approval inspections of facilities engaged in the development, manufacture, processing, packing, testing and holding of the products subject to NDAs and ANDAs and pre-license inspections of facilities engaged in similar activities for biologic products subject to BLAs. In addition, manufacturers of both pharmaceutical products and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used to formulate such products also ordinarily undergo pre-approval inspections. Failure of any facility to pass a pre-approval inspection will result in delayed approval.
Facilities that manufacture pharmaceutical or biological products must be registered with the FDA and all such products made in such facilities must be manufactured in accordance with the latest cGMP regulations. The FDA conducts periodic inspections of facilities to assess the cGMP status of marketed products. Following such inspections, the FDA could issue a Form 483 Notice of Inspectional Observations, which could require modification to certain activities identified during the inspection. If the FDA were to find serious cGMP non-compliance during such an inspection, it could take regulatory actions. The FDA also may issue an untitled letter as an initial correspondence that cites violations that do not meet the threshold of regulatory significance for a Warning Letter. FDA guidelines also provide for the issuance of Warning Letters for violations of “regulatory significance” for which the failure to adequately and promptly achieve correction may be expected to result in an enforcement action.
Imported API and other components needed to manufacture our products could be rejected by U.S. Customs. In respect to domestic establishments, the FDA could initiate product seizures or request, or in some instances require, product recalls and seek to enjoin or otherwise limit a product’s manufacture and distribution. In certain circumstances, violations could support civil penalties and criminal prosecutions. In addition, if the FDA concludes that a company is not in compliance with cGMP requirements, sanctions may be imposed that include preventing that company from receiving the necessary licenses to export its products and classifying that company as an unacceptable supplier, thereby disqualifying that company from selling products to federal agencies.
Certain of our subsidiaries sell products that are “controlled substances” as defined in the CSA and implementing regulations, which establish certain security and recordkeeping requirements administered by the DEA. The DEA regulates chemical compounds as Schedule I, II, III, IV or V substances, with Schedule I substances considered to present the highest risk of substance abuse and Schedule V substances the lowest risk. The active ingredients in some of our products are listed by the DEA as Schedule II or III substances under the CSA. Consequently, their manufacture, shipment, storage, sale and use are subject to a high degree of regulation.
The DEA limits the availability of the active ingredients that are subject to the CSA used in several of our products as well as the production of these products. We or our contract manufacturing organizations must annually apply to the DEA for procurement and production quotas in order to obtain and produce these substances. As a result, our quotas may not be sufficient to meet commercial demand or complete clinical trials. Moreover, the DEA may adjust these quotas from time to time during the year, although the DEA has substantial discretion in whether or not to make such adjustments. See Item 1A. Risk Factors - “The DEA limits the availability of the active ingredients used in many of our products as well as the production of these products, and, as a result, our procurement and production quotas may not be sufficient to meet commercial demand or complete clinical trials.”
To meet its responsibilities, the DEA conducts periodic inspections of registered establishments that handle controlled substances. Annual registration is required for any facility that manufactures, tests, distributes, dispenses, imports or exports any controlled substance. The facilities must have the security, control, accounting mechanisms and monitoring systems required by the DEA to prevent loss and diversion of controlled substances and to comply with reporting obligations. Failure to maintain compliance can result in enforcement action. The DEA may seek civil penalties, refuse to renew necessary registrations or initiate proceedings to revoke or restrict those registrations or, with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), seek to impose civil penalties. In certain circumstances, violations could result in criminal proceedings.
In October 2018, the U.S. Congress enacted the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6). Intended to achieve sweeping reform to combat opioid abuse, H.R. 6, among other provisions, amends related laws administered by the FDA, DEA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Among other things, the law: (i) amends requirements related to the FDA’s authority to include packaging requirements in REMS requirements; (ii) increases civil and criminal penalties for manufacturers and distributors for failing to maintain effective controls against diversion of opioids or for failing to report suspicious opioid orders; (iii) requires the DEA to estimate the amount of opioid diversion when establishing manufacturing and procurement quotas; (iv) implements expanded anti-kickback and financial disclosure provisions; and (v) authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to implement a demonstration program which would award grants to hospitals and emergency departments to develop, implement, enhance or study alternative pain management protocols and treatments that limit the use and prescription of opioids in emergency departments.
Individual states also regulate controlled substances and we, as well as our third-party API suppliers and manufacturers, are subject to such regulation by several states with respect to the manufacture and distribution of these products.
Government Benefit Programs
As described further in Item 1A. Risk Factors, statutory and regulatory requirements for government healthcare programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and TRICARE govern access and provider reimbursement levels, and provide for other cost-containment measures such as requiring pharmaceutical companies to pay rebates or refunds for certain sales of products reimbursed by such programs, or subjecting products to certain price ceilings. In addition to the cost-containment measures described in Item 1A. Risk Factors, sales to retail pharmacies under the TRICARE Retail Pharmacy Program are subject to certain price ceilings which require manufacturers to, among other things, pay refunds for prescriptions filled based on the applicable ceiling price limits. Beginning in the first quarter of 2017, pursuant to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, manufacturers are required to pay additional rebates to state Medicaid programs if the prices of their non-innovator products rise at a rate faster than inflation (as continues to be the case for innovator products); this requirement previously existed only as to branded or innovator products and the change in law may impact our business.
The federal government may continue to pursue legislation aimed at containing or reducing payment levels for prescription pharmaceuticals paid for in whole or in part with government funds. State governments also may continue to enact similar cost containment or transparency legislation. These efforts could have material consequences for the pharmaceutical industry and the Company.
From time to time, legislative changes are made to government healthcare programs that impact our business. Congress continues to examine various Medicare and Medicaid policy proposals that may result in a downward pressure on the prices of prescription products in these programs. See Item 1A. Risk Factors - “The availability of third party reimbursement for our products is uncertain, and we may find it difficult to maintain current price levels. Additionally, the market may not accept those products for which third party reimbursement is not adequately provided.”
Under the PPACA, pharmaceutical manufacturers of branded prescription products must pay an annual fee to the federal government. Each individual pharmaceutical manufacturer must pay a prorated share of the total industry fee based on the dollar value of its branded prescription product sales to specified federal programs. The total industry fee was $4 billion for 2017, $4.1 billion for 2018 and $2.8 billion for 2019. The 2019 rate is expected to continue for future years.
Uncertainty continues to exist about the future of federal subsidies and of insurance coverage expansion as the current administration and congressional leaders continue to express interest in repealing these PPACA provisions and replacing them with alternatives that may be less costly and provide state Medicaid programs and private health plans more flexibility. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) repealed the requirement that individuals maintain health insurance coverage or face a penalty (known as the individual mandate). The removal of this provision, coupled with the threat of the repeal of other PPACA provisions, as well as the outcome of court challenges to the PPACA (including petitions for certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court to review a December 2019 ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit finding the individual mandate of the PPACA to be unconstitutional), threaten the stability of the insurance marketplace and may have consequences for the coverage and accessibility of prescription drugs.
Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Laws
We are subject to various federal, state and local laws targeting fraud and abuse in the healthcare industry, violations of which can lead to civil and criminal penalties, including fines, imprisonment and exclusion from participation in federal healthcare programs. These laws are potentially applicable to us as both a manufacturer and a supplier of products reimbursed by federal healthcare programs, and they also apply to hospitals, physicians and other potential purchasers of our products.
The federal Anti-Kickback Statute (42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b) prohibits persons from knowingly and willfully soliciting, receiving, offering or providing remuneration, directly or indirectly, to induce either the referral of an individual, or the furnishing, recommending or arranging for a good or service, for which payment may be made under a federal healthcare program such as the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Remuneration is not defined in the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and has been broadly interpreted to include anything of value, including for example, gifts, discounts, coupons, the furnishing of supplies or equipment, credit arrangements, payments of cash, waivers of payments, ownership interests and providing anything at less than its fair market value. Under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and the applicable criminal healthcare fraud statutes contained within 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b, a person or entity need not have actual knowledge of this statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation. In addition, the government may assert that a claim, including items or services resulting from a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b, constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the civil False Claims Act (discussed below) or the civil monetary penalties statute, which imposes fines against any person who is determined to have presented or caused to be presented claims to a federal healthcare program that the person knows or should know is for an item or service that was not provided as claimed or is false or fraudulent. The federal Anti-Kickback Statute and implementing regulations provide for certain exceptions for “safe harbors” for certain discounting, rebating or personal services arrangements, among other things. However, the lack of uniform court interpretation of the Anti-Kickback Statute, coupled with novel enforcement theories by government authorities, make compliance with the law difficult. Violations of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute can result in significant criminal fines, exclusion from participation in Medicare and Medicaid and follow-on civil litigation, among other things, for both entities and individuals.
In October 2019, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services issued a Proposed Rule: Revisions to Safe Harbors under the Anti-Kickback Statute and Civil Monetary Penalty Rules Regarding Beneficiary Inducements (October Proposed Rule) to, among other things, add new safe harbors for certain value-based arrangements. Although the value-based proposals would not include pharmaceutical manufacturers among the entities that could permissibly enter into such contracting arrangements, the general trend toward outcomes and value-based contracts in the healthcare industry may continue. It is possible that payers, among other customers, could push manufacturers for novel contracting approaches, including those that would incorporate value-based principles, and these efforts could affect our business.
The civil False Claims Act and similar state laws impose liability on any person or entity who, among other things, knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment by a federal healthcare program. The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act and similar state laws allow a private individual to bring civil actions on behalf of the federal or state government and to share in any monetary recovery. The Federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act and similar state laws impose reporting requirements for various types of payments to physicians and teaching hospitals. Failure to comply with reporting requirements under these laws could subject manufacturers and others to substantial civil money penalties. In addition, government entities and private litigants have asserted claims under state consumer protection statutes against pharmaceutical and medical device companies for alleged false or misleading statements in connection with the marketing, promotion and/or sale of pharmaceutical and medical device products, including state investigations of the Company regarding vaginal mesh devices previously sold by certain of our operating subsidiaries and investigations and litigation by certain government entities regarding the prior promotional practices of certain of our operating subsidiaries with respect to opioid products.
Through our international operations, the Company is subject to laws and regulations that differ from those under which the Company operates in the U.S. In most cases, non-U.S. regulatory agencies evaluate and monitor the safety, efficacy and quality of pharmaceutical products, govern the approval of clinical trials and product registrations and regulate pricing and reimbursement. Certain international markets have differing product preferences and requirements and operate in an environment of government-mandated, cost-containment programs, including price controls, such as the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) in Canada.
In Canada, amendments to the Patented Medicines Regulations (Regulations Amending the Patented Medicines Regulations (Additional Factors and Information Reporting Requirements)) (the Amendments) will come into force on July 1, 2020 and will introduce a number of changes to the regulation of Canadian drug prices by the PMPRB. The PMPRB is an administrative board established by the Patent Act, RSC 1985, c P-4, with a mandate to protect Canadians from excessive pricing. Pharmaceutical manufacturers that are “patentees” are required to report applicable patents and file sales information so the PMPRB can monitor for excessive pricing as long as the product is considered to be a patented medicine. If it is determined the average price for a patented medicine is too high based on pricing tests developed by the PMPRB, a payment must be made to the PMPRB to offset the excessive revenues that were generated, and/or the price of the medicine must be reduced. The PMPRB’s authority to regulate the price of a product is linked to patent protection, specifically when there is a patent to an invention that is “intended or capable of being used for medicine or for the preparation or production of medicine” (Patent Act, Section 79(2)).
For patented medicines approved by Health Canada after August 21, 2019 (the date of publication of the Amendments), the Amendments will allow PMPRB to consider additional factors when assessing whether a price is excessive: pharmacoeconomic value of the medicine in Canada, the size of the market for the medicine in Canada and the gross domestic product (GDP) and GDP per capita of Canada. For all patented medicines (regardless of the date of marketing authorization), the Amendments change the set of countries that the PMPRB uses for international price comparisons when assessing whether the Canadian price is excessive. Under the current regulations, the price of a Canadian medicine is compared to the price of that medicine in seven other counties, including the U.S. and Switzerland. The Amendments define a new set of eleven comparator countries, and the U.S. and Switzerland are no longer part of this basket. The implementation of the new set of comparator counties is expected to cause a decrease to permissible ceiling prices in Canada. Based on draft guidelines published by the PMPRB in November 2019 (currently under consultation), the ceiling price for a medicine is expected to be established as the median international list price of the eleven comparator countries for most patented medicines. According to the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement that accompanied the publication of the Amendments in the Canada Gazette Part II, the Canadian government anticipates that Amendments will result in lower prices for patented medicines and an estimated benefit to Canadians of 8.8 billion Canadian dollars (present value) over 10 years.
Certain governments have placed restrictions on physician prescription levels and patient reimbursements, emphasized greater use of generic products and enacted across-the-board price cuts as methods of cost control.
Whether or not FDA approval has been obtained for a product, approval of the product by comparable regulatory authorities of other governments must be obtained prior to marketing the product in those jurisdictions. The approval process may be more or less rigorous than the U.S. process and the time required for approval may be longer or shorter than in the U.S.
We contract with various third parties to provide certain critical services including manufacturing, supply, warehousing, distribution, customer service, certain financial functions, certain R&D activities and medical affairs, among others.
Refer to Note 11. License and Collaboration Agreements and Note 15. Commitments and Contingencies in the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part IV, Item 15 of this report for additional information.
We primarily purchase our raw materials for the production and development of our products in the open market from third party suppliers. We attempt, when possible, to mitigate our raw material supply risks through inventory management and alternative sourcing strategies. However, some raw materials are only available from one source. We are required to identify the suppliers of all raw materials for our products in the drug applications that we file with the FDA. If the raw materials from an approved supplier for a particular product become unavailable, we would be required to qualify a substitute supplier with the FDA, which would likely interrupt manufacturing of the affected product. See Item 1A. Risk Factors for further discussion on the risks associated with the sourcing of our raw materials.
License & Collaboration Agreements and Acquisitions
We continue to seek to enhance our product line and develop a balanced portfolio of differentiated products through product acquisitions and in-licensing or acquiring licenses to products, compounds and technologies from third parties. The Company enters into strategic alliances and collaborative arrangements with third parties, which give the Company rights to develop, manufacture, market and/or sell pharmaceutical products, the rights to which are primarily owned by these third parties. These alliances and arrangements can take many forms, including licensing arrangements, co-development and co-marketing agreements, co-promotion arrangements, research collaborations and joint ventures. Such alliances and arrangements enable us to share the risk of incurring all R&D expenses that do not lead to revenue-generating products; however, because profits from alliance products are shared with the counter-parties to the collaborative arrangement, the gross margins on alliance products are generally lower, sometimes substantially so, than the gross margins that could be achieved had the Company not opted for a development partner. Refer to Note 11. License and Collaboration Agreements in the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part IV, Item 15 of this report for additional information.
Our operations are subject to substantial federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations concerning, among other matters, the generation, handling, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal of, and exposure to, hazardous substances. Violation of these laws and regulations, which may change, can lead to substantial fines and penalties. Many of our operations require environmental permits and controls to prevent and limit pollution of the environment. We believe that our facilities and the facilities of our third party service providers are in substantial compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations and we do not believe that future compliance will have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
As of February 18, 2020, we have 3,172 employees, of which 365 are engaged in R&D and regulatory work, 400 in sales and marketing, 1,243 in manufacturing, 636 in quality assurance and 528 in general and administrative capacities. With the exception of certain production personnel in our Rochester, Michigan manufacturing facility, our employees are generally not represented by unions. We believe that our relations with our employees are good.
Information about our Executive Officers
The following table sets forth, as of February 26, 2020, information about our executive officers:
Position and Offices
Paul V. Campanelli (1)
President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board
Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, U.S. Branded Business
Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Sterile and Generics
Blaise Coleman (1)
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Terrance J. Coughlin
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Executive Vice President, International Pharmaceuticals
Matthew J. Maletta
Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer
On November 4, 2019, Mr. Paul V. Campanelli notified the board of directors (the Board) of his intention to retire as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. The Board appointed Mr. Campanelli as the Chairman of the Board on November 4, 2019. On February 19, 2020, the Board appointed Mr. Blaise Coleman as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer and Mr. Mark Bradley, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development & Treasurer, as the Company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Both appointments are effective March 6, 2020 and Mr. Campanelli and Mr. Coleman will continue to serve in their current roles until such date.
Paul V. Campanelli was appointed Chairman of the Board of Endo in November 2019 and has served as Director, Chief Executive Officer and President since September 2016. Mr. Campanelli joined Endo in 2015 as the President of Par Pharmaceutical, leading Endo’s fully integrated U.S. Generics business, following Endo’s acquisition of Par Pharmaceutical. Prior to joining Endo, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. following the company’s September 2012 acquisition by TPG. Prior to the TPG acquisition, Mr. Campanelli served as Chief Operating Officer and President of Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. from 2010 to 2012. At Par Pharmaceutical, Inc., Mr. Campanelli had also served as Senior Vice President, Business Development & Licensing; Executive Vice President and President; and was named a Corporate Officer by its board of directors. He also served on the board of directors of Sky Growth Holdings Corporation from 2012 until 2015. Prior to joining Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc., Mr. Campanelli served as Vice President, Business Development at Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., where he was employed from 1992 to 2001. Mr. Campanelli earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Springfield College.
Patrick Barry was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, U.S. Branded Business, effective February 2018. In this role, he has responsibility for all commercial activities for U.S. Branded Pharmaceuticals, including strategy, new product planning, marketing, sales as well as managed care and patient access responsibilities. Mr. Barry joined Endo in December 2016 as Senior Vice President, U.S. Branded Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Endo, Mr. Barry worked at Sanofi S.A. from 1992 until December 2016, holding roles of increasing responsibility in areas such as Sales Leadership, Commercial Operations, Marketing, Launch Planning and Training and Leadership Development. Most recently, he served at Sanofi S.A. as its General Manager and Head of North America General Medicines starting in September 2015 and as Vice President and Head of U.S. Specialty from April 2014 until August 2015. During this time, Mr. Barry oversaw three complex and diverse businesses with responsibility for leading sales and marketing activities for branded and generic products across the U.S. and Canada. He has a diverse therapeutic experience including aesthetics and dermatology, oncology, urology, orthopedics and medical device and surgical experience. He has an M.B.A. from Cornell University, Johnson School of Management and a B.A. in Public Relations and Marketing from McKendree University.
Domenico Ciarico was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Sterile and Generics, effective August 2019. In this role, Mr. Ciarico leads Endo’s U.S. Generics business including responsibility and oversight of Par Generic and Par Sterile sales teams, commercial operations, marketing and business analytics group. Mr. Ciarico joined Par in July 2018 as SVP and General Manager of Par Sterile Products, responsible for all sales, marketing, pricing and portfolio management for Par Sterile Products. Prior to joining Endo in 2018, Mr. Ciarico was with AmerisourceBergen Corporation (ABC) for over 20 years from May 1996 to July 2017 where he held several roles of increasing responsibility, including SVP of Health Systems, leading health systems sales and commercial strategy. Prior to that, Mr. Ciarico was Group Vice President, managing three of ABC’s service businesses: American Health Packaging, Pharmacy Healthcare Solutions and AmerisourceBergen Technology Group, as well as other key leadership positions in operations and sales. Mr. Ciarico holds an M.B.A. and a B.S. degree from The Ohio State University.
Blaise Coleman was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective December 2016. Mr. Coleman had been serving as Endo’s Interim Chief Financial Officer since November 2016. He joined Endo in January 2015 as Vice President of Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis, and was then promoted to Senior Vice President, Global Finance Operations in November 2015. Prior to joining Endo, Mr. Coleman held numerous finance leadership roles with AstraZeneca, most recently having served as the Chief Financial Officer of the AstraZeneca/Bristol-Myers Squibb US Diabetes Alliance from January 2013 until January 2015. Prior to that, he was the Head of Finance for the AstraZeneca Global Medicines Development organization based in Mölndal, Sweden. Mr. Coleman joined AstraZeneca in 2007 as Senior Director Commercial Finance for the US Cardiovascular Business. He joined AstraZeneca from Centocor, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, where he held positions in both the Licenses & Acquisitions and Commercial Finance organizations. Mr. Coleman’s move to Centocor in early 2003 followed 7 years’ experience with the global public accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Mr. Coleman is a Certified Public Accountant; he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Widener University and an M.B.A. from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Terrance J. Coughlin was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, effective November 2016. In this role, Mr. Coughlin has responsibility for Manufacturing and Technical Operations and R&D across the enterprise. Most recently, Mr. Coughlin served as Vice President, Operations of Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc., a subsidiary of Endo. Prior to Endo’s acquisition of Par in September 2015, Mr. Coughlin was the Chief Operating Officer of Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. Prior to joining Par, Mr. Coughlin held numerous leadership roles with Glenmark Generics, Inc. USA/Glenmark Generics Limited, most recently having served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Glenmark Generics, Inc. USA/Glenmark Generics Limited. Prior to this, Mr. Coughlin had the overall responsibility for Glenmark’s North American, Western European and Eastern European generics businesses, as well as its global active pharmaceutical ingredient business and generics operations in India. Prior to joining Glenmark, Mr. Coughlin served as Senior Vice President at Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc. Mr. Coughlin began his career in 1988 with Wyckoff Chemical Company, Inc. Mr. Coughlin earned a B.S. in chemistry from Central Michigan University.
Rahul Garella was appointed Executive Vice President, International Pharmaceuticals, effective August 2019. In this role, he has responsibility for the overall strategic management, operations and commercial leadership of the International Pharmaceuticals business, which includes Paladin Labs, Canada and Global partnerships in the international markets. Mr. Garella joined Endo in 2014 as Senior Vice President. Mr. Garella has over 23 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry across branded and generic pharmaceuticals and APIs with international experience across the European, Asian and Latin America markets. Prior to joining Endo, Mr. Garella served as the Senior Vice President for Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Europe Limited responsible for building and managing their Western European business from 2008 until 2014 and their European and Latin American API business from 2005 until 2008. Previously, he worked with Ranbaxy in their Asia-Pacific division and Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals. He holds a Master of Business Administration (PGDBM) from the Institute of Management Technology, India as well as a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering from the Faculty of Engineering, Jamia Millia, New Delhi, India.
Matthew J. Maletta was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, effective May 2015, and has global responsibility for all legal matters affecting the Company. Prior to joining Endo in 2015, Mr. Maletta served as Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Allergan. In this position, he served as an advisor to the Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors and supervised several large transactions, including the $70 billion acquisition of Allergan by Actavis in 2015. Mr. Maletta also played a key role defending Allergan from an unsolicited takeover bid by Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Pershing Square Capital Management in 2014. Mr. Maletta joined Allergan in 2002 and during his tenure, held roles of increased responsibility, including serving as the lead commercial attorney for Allergan’s aesthetics businesses for several years and as Head of Human Resources in 2010. Prior to joining Allergan, Mr. Maletta was in private practice, focusing on general corporate matters, finance, governance, securities and transactions. He holds a B.A. degree in political science from the University of Minnesota, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and a J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School.
We have employment agreements with each of our executive officers.
Our internet address is www.endo.com. The contents of our website are not part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and our internet address is included in this document as an inactive textual reference only. We make our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, proxy reports and all amendments to those reports available free of charge on our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we file such reports with, or furnish such reports to, the SEC.
You can access our filings through the SEC’s internet site: www.sec.gov (intended to be an inactive textual reference only).
You may also access copies of the Company’s filings with the Canadian Securities Administrators on SEDAR through their internet site: www.sedar.com (intended to be an inactive textual reference only).
Item 1A. Risk Factors
We operate in a highly competitive industry.
The pharmaceutical industry is intensely competitive and we face competition in both our U.S. and international branded and generic pharmaceutical business. Competitive factors include, without limitation, product development, technological innovation, safety, efficacy, commercialization, marketing, promotion, product quality, price, cost-effectiveness, reputation, service, patient convenience and access to scientific and technical information. Many of our competitors have, and future competitors may have, greater resources than we do and we cannot predict with certainty the timing or impact of competitors’ products and commercialization strategies. Furthermore, recent trends in this industry include market consolidation, which may further concentrate financial, technical and market strength and increase competitive pressure in the industry. It is possible that our competitors may make greater R&D investments and have more efficient or superior processes and systems and more experience in the development of new products that permit them to respond more quickly to new or emerging technologies and changes in customer demand which may make our products or technologies uncompetitive or obsolete. Furthermore, academic institutions, government agencies and other public and private organizations conducting research may seek patent protection and may establish collaborative arrangements for competitive products or programs. If we fail to compete successfully, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Many of our branded products do not currently compete with on-market generic products but are likely to face generic competition in the future. While the entrance of generic competitors could occur at any time and cannot be predicted with certainty, generic competition often follows shortly after the loss of patent protection. See “Patents, Trademarks, Licenses and Proprietary Property” in Part 1, Item 1 of this report “Business” for additional information. Similarly, generic products we currently sell with generic exclusivity could in the future be subject to competition from other generic competitors. Some of our other products, including both branded and generic products, already face generic competition. For these products, we face the risk of additional generic competitors entering the market. Manufacturers of generic products typically invest far less in R&D than research-based companies. Additionally, generic competitors, including Asian or other overseas generic competitors, may be able to produce products at costs lower than us. For these reasons, competitors may be able to price their products lower than we can, and such differences could be material. Due to lower prices, generic versions, where available, may be substituted by pharmacies or required in preference to branded versions under third-party reimbursement programs. As a result, generic competition could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Legislation encouraging early and rapid approval of generic drugs could also increase the degree of generic competition we face. See the risk factor “If other pharmaceutical companies use litigation and regulatory means to obtain approval for generic, over-the-counter or other competing versions of our drugs, our sales may suffer” for more information.
In addition, our generics business faces competition from brand-name pharmaceutical companies, which have taken and may continue to take aggressive steps to thwart or delay competition from generic equivalents of their brand-name products, including bringing litigation alleging patent infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. The actions taken by competing brand-name pharmaceutical companies may increase the costs and risks associated with our efforts to introduce generic products and may delay or prevent such introduction altogether. For example, if a brand-name pharmaceutical company’s patent was held to be valid and infringed by our generic products in a particular jurisdiction, we would be required to either obtain a license from the patent holder or delay or cease the manufacture and sale of such generic product. Any of these factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Our sales may also suffer as a result of changes in consumer demand for our products, including as a result of fluctuations in consumer buying patterns, changes in market conditions or actions taken by our competitors, including the introduction of new products or price reductions for existing products. Any of these factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
If other pharmaceutical companies use litigation and regulatory means to obtain approval for generic, over-the-counter or other competing versions of our drugs, our sales may suffer.
Various manufacturers have filed ANDAs seeking FDA approval for generic versions of certain of our key pharmaceutical products including, but not limited to, LIDODERM®, VASOSTRICT®, ADRENALIN® and AVEED®. In connection with such filings, these manufacturers have challenged the validity and/or enforceability of one or more of the underlying patents protecting our products. In the case of LIDODERM®, we no longer have patent protection in the markets where we sell these products. Our revenues from LIDODERM® have been negatively affected by multiple competing generic versions of LIDODERM®. We anticipate that these revenues could decrease further should one or more additional generic versions of LIDODERM® launch.
Additionally, in early 2019, we received notice from a competing pharmaceutical company that manufactures one of our products of its intent to seek approval to launch a competing OTC version of such product. We cannot predict whether this, or any other manufacturer, will take similar actions with respect to other products. Any launch of competing OTC versions of any of our products could decrease the revenue of such products, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Our practice is to vigorously defend and pursue all available legal and regulatory avenues in defense of the intellectual property rights protecting our products. Despite our efforts, litigation is inherently uncertain, and we cannot predict the timing or outcome of our efforts. If we are not successful in defending our intellectual property rights or opt to settle, or if a product’s marketing or data exclusivity rights expire or become otherwise unenforceable, our competitors could ultimately launch generic, biosimilar, OTC or other competing versions of our products. Upon the loss or expiration of patent protection for one of our products, or upon the “at-risk” launch (despite pending patent infringement litigation against the generic product) by a generic manufacturer of a generic version of one of our patented products, our sales and revenues of the affected products would likely decline rapidly and materially, which could require us to write off a portion or all of the intangible assets associated with the affected product and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
In the case of VASOSTRICT®, beginning in April 2018, Par Sterile Products, LLC (PSP LLC) and Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. (PPI) received notice letters from Eagle Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Eagle), Sandoz, Inc., Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Amneal Pharmaceuticals, LLC, American Regent and Fresenius advising of the filing by such companies of ANDAs for generic versions of VASOSTRICT® (vasopressin IV solution (infusion)). The Paragraph IV notices refer to patents that we have listed in the Orange Book covering either vasopressin-containing pharmaceutical compositions or methods of using a vasopressin-containing dosage form to increase blood pressure in humans. Beginning in May 2018, PPI, PSP LLC and Endo Par Innovation Company, LLC (EPIC) filed lawsuits against the companies in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware and New Jersey within the 45-day deadline to invoke a 30-month stay of FDA approval pursuant to the Hatch-Waxman legislative framework. We intend to pursue all available legal, business and regulatory avenues in defense of VASOSTRICT®, including enforcement of our intellectual property rights. However, there can be no assurance that we will be successful. If a generic version of VASOSTRICT® were introduced to the market, our revenues from VASOSTRICT® would decrease significantly and, depending on the timing of such introduction and its effect on VASOSTRICT® pricing, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
There are currently ongoing legal proceedings brought by us and/or our subsidiaries and, in certain cases, our third party partners, against manufacturers seeking FDA approval for generic versions of our products. For a description of the material related legal proceedings, see Note 15. Commitments and Contingencies in the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part IV, Item 15 of this report.
We also believe it is likely that manufacturers may seek FDA approvals for generic, OTC or other competing versions of other of our key pharmaceutical products, either through the filing of ANDAs, through the OTC monograph process or through the use of other means. We cannot determine what effect section 610 of the FCAA 2020 may have on manufacturers developing generic, OTC or other competing versions of our products.
If pharmacies or outsourcing facilities produce compounded versions of our products, our sales may suffer.
Compounded drugs do not typically require the same R&D investments as either branded or generic drugs and, therefore, can compete favorably on price with both branded and generic versions of a drug. See “Governmental Regulation” in Part I, Item 1. While we have successfully challenged an FDA interim policy that would have permitted the compounding of vasopressin, the active ingredient in VASOSTRICT®, the introduction of compounded versions of our products by pharmacies or outsourcing facilities could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
If we fail to successfully identify and develop additional branded and generic pharmaceutical products, obtain and maintain exclusive marketing rights for our branded and generic products or fail to introduce branded and generic products on a timely basis, our revenues, gross margin and operating results may decline.
Our financial results depend, to a significant extent, upon our ability, and the ability of our partners, to identify, develop, obtain regulatory approval for, launch and commercialize a pipeline of commercially successful branded and generic products, including first-to-file or first-to-market opportunities. Due to the significant competition we face and the importance of being the first (or one of the first) to market, no assurances can be given that we will be able to develop, introduce and maintain commercially successful products in the future. For example, in the case of colchicine tablets, the authorized generic of Takeda’s Colcrys®, we could face competition from Mylan and other manufacturers. In November 2019, Mylan launched its generic version of Colcrys® but agreed to temporarily suspend its sales pending the outcome of preliminary injunction proceedings in the litigation by Takeda against Mylan. If Mylan or other manufacturers enter the market, our revenues from colchicine tablets could decrease significantly, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Identifying and developing additional product candidates are prone to risks of failure inherent in product development. We conduct R&D to enable us to manufacture and market pharmaceutical products in accordance with specific government regulations. Much of our product development effort is focused on technically difficult-to-formulate products and/or products that require advanced manufacturing technology. Typically, expenses related to research, development and regulatory approval of compounds for our branded products are significantly greater than those expenses associated with generic products. Should we expand our R&D efforts, our research expenses are likely to increase. Because of the inherent risk associated with R&D efforts in the healthcare industry, particularly with respect to new products, our R&D expenditures may not result in the successful regulatory approval and introduction of new products and failure in the development of any new product can occur at any point in the process, including late in the process after substantial investment. Also, after we submit a regulatory application, the relevant governmental health authority may require that we conduct additional studies, including, for example, studies to assess the product’s interaction with alcohol. As a result, we may be unable to reasonably predict the total R&D costs to develop a particular product and there is a significant risk that the funds we invest in R&D will not generate financial returns. In addition, our operating results and financial condition may fluctuate as the amount we spend to research and develop, commercialize, acquire or license new products, technologies and businesses changes.
The process of developing and obtaining regulatory approvals for new products is time-consuming, costly and inherently unpredictable. Even if we are able to identify and develop additional product candidates, we may fail to obtain exclusive marketing rights, such as the 180-day ANDA first-filer marketing exclusivity period provided for in the Hatch-Waxman amendments to the FFDCA or the 180-day exclusivity for competitive generic therapies (CGTs) established by the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017, for such product candidates. Even if we were to secure such exclusivities, risks associated with securing timely approval, as well as risks of unfavorable litigation dispositions, put such exclusivities at risk of being forfeited. The approval of our ANDAs may also be stayed by the FDA for up to 30 months if such ANDAs become the subject of patent litigation. Even where we are awarded marketing exclusivity, we may be required to share our exclusivity period with other ANDA applicants or with authorized generics that are not prohibited from sale during the 180-day marketing exclusivity period. Our revenues have historically included sales of generic products with limited competition resulting from marketing exclusivity or other factors, and the failure to timely and effectively file any NDA, ANDA, BLA or Supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) with the FDA or similar filings with other regulatory agencies, or to partner with parties that have obtained marketing exclusivity, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Furthermore, the successful commercialization of a product is subject to a number of factors, including:
the effectiveness, ease of use and safety of our products as compared to existing products;
customer demand and the willingness of physicians and customers to adopt our products over products with which they may have more loyalty or familiarity and overcoming any biases towards competitors’ products or against our products;
the cost of our products compared to alternative products and the pricing and commercialization strategies of our competitors;
the success of our launch and marketing efforts;
adverse publicity about us, our products, our competitors and their products or the industry as a whole or favorable publicity about competitors or their products;
the advent of new and innovative alternative products;
any unforeseen issues or adverse developments in connection with our products and any resulting litigation, regulatory scrutiny and/or harm to our reputation; and
other risks that may be out of our control, including the decision by a collaboration partner to make substantial changes to a product’s formulation or design, or a collaboration partner refusing to perform its obligations under our collaboration agreement, which may cause delays and additional costs in developing and marketing a product.
We have been, continue to be and may be the subject of lawsuits, product liability claims, other significant legal proceedings, government investigations or product recalls.
Our business exposes us to significant potential risks from lawsuits, product liability claims, other significant legal proceedings, government investigations or product recalls, including, but not limited to, such matters associated with the testing, manufacturing, marketing and sale of our products. Some plaintiffs have received substantial damage awards or settlements against healthcare companies based upon various legal theories, including without limitation claims for injuries allegedly caused by the use of their products. We have been, continue to be and may be subject to various product liability cases, as well as other significant legal proceedings and government investigations.
For example, we, along with other manufacturers of prescription opioid medications, as well as distributors and other sellers of such medications, are the subject of lawsuits and have received subpoenas and other requests for information from various federal, state and local government agencies regarding the sale, marketing and/or distribution of prescription opioid medications. Numerous claims against opioid manufacturers, including us, have been and may continue to be filed by or on behalf of states, counties, cities, Native American tribes, other government-related persons or entities, hospitals, health systems, unions, health and welfare funds, other third-party payers and/or individuals. See Note 15. Commitments and Contingencies in the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part IV, Item 15 of this report for more information. In these cases, plaintiffs seek various remedies, including without limitation declaratory and/or injunctive relief; compensatory, punitive and/or treble damages; restitution, disgorgement, civil penalties, abatement, attorneys’ fees, costs and/or other relief. Settlement demands may seek significant monetary and other remedies, or otherwise be on terms that we do not consider reasonable under the circumstances. Awards against and settlements by our competitors could also incentivize parties to bring additional claims against us. In addition to the risks of direct expenditures for defense costs, settlements and/or judgments in connection with these claims, proceedings and investigations, there is a possibility of loss of revenues, injunctions and disruption of business. Furthermore, we and other manufacturers of prescription opioid medications have been, and will likely continue to be, subject to negative publicity and press, which could harm our brand and the demand for our products. In addition, current or future regulatory and legislative proposals could impact us and other manufacturers of prescription opioid medications. See the risk factor “Our business and financial condition may be adversely affected by legislation” for more information.
Our current and former products may cause or appear to cause serious adverse side effects or potentially dangerous drug interactions if misused or improperly prescribed or as a result of faulty surgical technique. For example, we and certain other manufacturers have been named as defendants in multiple lawsuits in various federal and state courts alleging personal injury resulting from use of transvaginal surgical mesh products designed to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The FDA held a public advisory committee meeting in February 2019 during which the members of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee discussed and made recommendations regarding the safety and effectiveness of surgical mesh to treat POP. In April 2019, following the meeting, the FDA ordered that the manufacturers of all remaining surgical mesh products indicated for the transvaginal repair of POP cease selling and distributing their products in the U.S. effective immediately. Although we have not sold transvaginal surgical mesh products since March 2016, it is possible that the FDA’s order and any additional FDA actions based on the outcome of the advisory committee meeting could result in additional litigation against the Company. See Note 15. Commitments and Contingencies in the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part IV, Item 15 of this report for more information.
Any failure to effectively identify, analyze, report and protect adverse event data and/or to fully comply with relevant laws, rules and regulations around adverse event reporting could expose the Company to legal proceedings, penalties, fines and/or reputational damage.
In addition, in the age of social media, plaintiffs’ attorneys have a wide variety of tools to advertise their services and solicit new clients for litigation, including using judgments and settlements obtained in litigation against us or other pharmaceutical companies as an advertising tool. For these or other reasons, any significant product liability or mass tort litigation in which we are a defendant could have a larger number of plaintiffs than such actions have seen historically and we could also see an increase in the number of cases filed against us because of the increasing use of widespread and media-varied advertising. Furthermore, a ruling against other pharmaceutical companies in product liability or mass tort litigation in which we are not a defendant could have a negative impact on pending litigation where we are a defendant.
In addition, in certain circumstances, such as in the case of products that do not meet approved specifications or for which subsequent data demonstrate such products may be unsafe, ineffective or misused, it may be necessary for us to initiate voluntary or mandatory recalls or withdraw such products from the market. Any such recall or withdrawal could result in adverse publicity, costs connected to the recall and loss of revenue. Adverse publicity could also result in an increased number of additional product liability claims, whether or not these claims have a basis in scientific fact. See the risk factor “Public concern around the abuse of opioids or other products, including without limitation law enforcement concerns over diversion or marketing practices, regulatory efforts to combat abuse, and litigation could result in costs to our business” for more information.
If we are found liable in any lawsuits, including product liability claims or actions related to our sales, marketing or pricing practices or the sale, marketing and/or distribution of prescription opioid medications, or if we are subject to government investigations or product recalls, it could result in the imposition of damages, including punitive damages, fines, reputational harm, civil lawsuits, criminal penalties, interruptions of business, modification of business practices, equitable remedies and other sanctions against us or our personnel as well as significant legal and other costs. We may also voluntarily settle cases even if we believe that we have meritorious defenses because of the significant legal and other costs that may be required to defend such actions. Any judgments, claims, settlements and related costs could be well in excess of any applicable insurance. As a result, we may experience significant negative impacts on our operations. To satisfy judgments or settlements, we also may need to seek financing, which may not be available on terms acceptable to us, or at all, when required. Judgments also could cause defaults under our debt agreements and/or restrictions on our product use and we could incur losses as a result. Any of the risks above could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The occurrence or possibility of any such result may cause us to pursue one or more significant corporate transactions as well as other remedial measures, including internal reorganizations, restructuring activities, strategic corporate alignments, cost-saving initiatives or asset sales. See the risk factor “Our ability to fund our operations, maintain liquidity and meet our financing obligations is reliant on our operations, which are subject to significant risks and uncertainties” for more information. Likewise, any internal reorganizations, restructuring activities, strategic corporate alignments, cost-saving initiatives or asset sales may be complex, could entail significant costs and charges or could otherwise negatively impact shareholder value and there can be no assurance that we will be able to accomplish any of these alternatives on terms acceptable to us, or at all, or that they will result in their intended benefits.
See Note 15. Commitments and Contingencies in the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part IV, Item 15 of this report for further discussion of the foregoing and other material legal proceedings.
We may not have and may be unable to obtain or maintain insurance adequate to cover potential liabilities.
We may not have and may be unable to obtain or maintain in the future insurance on acceptable terms or with adequate coverage against potential liabilities or other losses, such as the cost of a recall, if any claim is brought against us, regardless of the success or failure of the claim. For example, we generally no longer have product liability insurance to cover the claims in connection with the mesh-related litigation described above. Additionally, we may be limited by the surviving insurance policies of our acquired subsidiaries, which may not be adequate to cover against potential liabilities or other losses. Even where claims are submitted to insurance carriers for defense and indemnity, there can be no assurance that the claims will be fully covered by insurance or that the indemnitors or insurers will remain financially viable. The failure to generate sufficient cash flow or to obtain other financing could affect our ability to pay the amounts due under those liabilities not covered by insurance.
Our ability to fund our operations, maintain liquidity and meet our financing obligations is reliant on our operations, which are subject to significant risks and uncertainties.
We rely on cash from operations as well as access to the financial markets to fund our operations, maintain liquidity and meet our financial obligations. Our operations are subject to many significant risks and uncertainties described in this “Risk Factors” section, including those related to generic competition and legal challenges that could impact our key products, including VASOSTRICT®, outstanding and future legal proceedings and governmental investigations, including those related to our sale, marketing and/or distribution of prescription opioid medications, and others. Any negative development or outcome in connection with any or all of these risks and uncertainties could result in significant consequences, including one or more of the following:
causing a substantial portion of our cash flows from operations to be dedicated to the payment of legal or related expenses and therefore unavailable for other purposes, including the payment of principal and interest on our indebtedness, our operations, capital expenditures and future business opportunities;
limiting our ability to adjust to changing market conditions, causing us to be more vulnerable to periods of negative or slow growth in the general economy or in our business, causing us to be unable to carry out capital spending that is important to our growth and placing us at a competitive disadvantage;
limiting our ability to attract and retain key personnel;
causing us to be unable to maintain compliance with or making it more difficult for us to satisfy our financial obligations under certain of our outstanding debt obligations, causing a downgrade of our debt and long-term corporate ratings (which could increase our cost of capital) and exposing us to potential events of default (if not cured or waived) under financial and operating covenants contained in our or our subsidiaries’ outstanding indebtedness;
limiting our ability to incur additional borrowings under the covenants in our then-existing facilities or to obtain additional debt or equity financing for working capital, capital expenditures, business development, debt service requirements, acquisitions or general corporate or other purposes, or to refinance our indebtedness; and/or
otherwise causing us to be unable to fund our operations and liquidity needs, such as future capital expenditures and payment of our indebtedness.
The occurrence or possibility of one or more of these or similar events may cause us to pursue one or more significant corporate transactions as well as other remedial measures, including refinancing all or part of our then-existing indebtedness, selling assets, reducing or delaying capital expenditures, seeking to raise additional capital or pursuing one or more internal reorganizations, restructuring activities, strategic corporate alignments, cost-saving initiatives or asset sales. Any refinancing of our substantial indebtedness could be at significantly higher interest rates, which will depend on the conditions of the markets and our financial condition at such time, and may require us to comply with more onerous covenants, which could further restrict our business operations. Any refinancing may also increase the amount of our secured indebtedness. In addition, the terms of existing or future debt agreements may restrict us from adopting any of these alternatives. Likewise, any internal reorganizations, restructuring activities, strategic corporate alignments, cost-saving initiatives or asset sales may be complex, could entail significant costs and charges or could otherwise negatively impact shareholder value and there can be no assurance that we will be able to accomplish any of these alternatives on terms acceptable to us, or at all, or that they will result in their intended benefits.
Our ability to protect and maintain our proprietary and licensed third party technology, which is vital to our business, is uncertain.
Our success, competitive position and future income will depend in part on our ability, and the ability of our partners and suppliers, to obtain and protect patent and other intellectual property rights relating to our current and future technologies, processes and products. The degree of protection any patents will afford is uncertain, including whether the protection obtained will be of sufficient breadth and degree to protect our commercial interests in all the jurisdictions where we conduct business. That is, the issuance of a patent is not conclusive as to its claimed scope, validity or enforceability. Patent rights may be challenged, revoked, invalidated, infringed or circumvented by third parties. For example, if an invention qualifies as a joint invention, the joint inventor may have intellectual property rights in the invention, which it might not protect. A third party may also infringe upon, design around or develop uses not covered by any patent issued or licensed to us and our patents may not otherwise be commercially viable. In this regard, the patent position of pharmaceutical compounds and compositions is particularly uncertain and involves complex legal and factual questions. Even issued patents may later be modified or revoked by the PTO, by comparable foreign patent offices or by a court following legal proceedings. Laws relating to such rights may in the future also be changed or withdrawn.
There is no assurance that any of our patent claims in our pending non-provisional and provisional patent applications relating to our technologies, processes or products will be issued or, if issued, that any of our existing and future patent claims will be held valid and enforceable against third-party infringement. It is possible that we could incur significant costs and management distraction if we are required to initiate litigation against others to protect or enforce our intellectual property rights. Such patent disputes may be lengthy and a potential violator of our patents may bring a potentially infringing product to market during the dispute, subjecting us to competition and damages due to infringement of the competitor product. Upon the expiration or loss of intellectual property protection for a product, others may manufacture and distribute such patented product, which may result in the loss of a significant portion of our sales of that product.
We also rely on trade secrets and other unpatented proprietary information, which we generally seek to protect by confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements with our employees, consultants, advisors and partners. These agreements may not effectively prevent disclosure of confidential information and may not provide us with an adequate remedy in the event of unauthorized disclosure. For example, in August 2017, we filed a complaint against QuVa Pharma, Inc. (QuVa) and certain individual defendants in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey alleging misappropriation in violation of the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, New Jersey Trade Secrets Act and New Jersey common law, as well as unfair competition, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the duty of loyalty, tortious interference with contractual relations and breach of the duty of confidence in connection with VASOSTRICT®. For more information regarding this litigation, see Note 15. Commitments and Contingencies in the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part IV, Item 15 of this report. Even if third parties misappropriate or infringe upon our proprietary rights, we may not be able to discover or determine the extent of any such unauthorized use and we may not be able to prevent third parties from misappropriating or infringing upon our proprietary rights. In addition, if our employees, scientific consultants or partners develop inventions or processes that may be applicable to our existing products or products under development, such inventions and processes will not necessarily become our property and may remain the property of those persons or their employers.
Any failure by us to adequately protect our technology, trade secrets or proprietary know-how or to enforce our intellectual property rights could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Our competitors or other third parties may allege that we are infringing their intellectual property, forcing us to expend substantial resources in litigation, the outcome of which is uncertain. Any unfavorable outcome of such litigation, including losses related to “at-risk” product launches, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Companies that produce branded pharmaceutical products routinely bring litigation against ANDA or similar applicants that seek regulatory approval to manufacture and market generic forms of branded products, alleging patent infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. Patent holders may also bring patent infringement suits against companies that are currently marketing and selling approved generic products. Litigation often involves significant expense. Additionally, if the patents of others are held valid, enforceable and infringed by our current products or future product candidates, we would, unless we could obtain a license from the patent holder, need to delay selling our corresponding generic product and, if we are already selling our product, cease selling and potentially destroy existing product stock. Additionally, we could be required to pay monetary damages or royalties to license proprietary rights from third parties and we may not be able to obtain such licenses on commercially reasonable terms or at all.
There may be situations in which we may make business and legal judgments to market and sell products that are subject to claims of alleged patent infringement prior to final resolution of those claims by the courts based upon our belief that such patents are invalid, unenforceable or are not infringed by our marketing and sale of such products. This is commonly referred to in the pharmaceutical industry as an “at-risk” launch. The risk involved in an at-risk launch can be substantial because, if a patent holder ultimately prevails against us, the remedies available to such holder may include, among other things, damages calculated based on the profits lost by the patent holder, which can be significantly higher than the profits we make from selling the generic version of the product. Moreover, if a court determines that such infringement is willful, the damages could be subject to trebling. We could face substantial damages from adverse court decisions in such matters. We could also be at risk for the value of such inventory that we are unable to market or sell.
Agreements between branded pharmaceutical companies and generic pharmaceutical companies are facing increased government scrutiny and private litigation in the U.S. and abroad.
We are and may in the future be involved in patent litigations in which generic companies challenge the validity or enforceability of our products’ listed patents and/or the applicability of these patents to the generic applicant’s products. Likewise, we are and may in the future be involved in patent litigations in which we challenge the validity or enforceability of innovator companies’ listed patents and/or their applicability to our generic products. Therefore, settling patent litigations has been and is likely to continue to be part of our business. Parties to such settlement agreements in the U.S., including us, are required by law to file them with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Antitrust Division of the DOJ for review. In some instances, the FTC has brought actions against brand and generic companies that have entered into such agreements, alleging that they violate antitrust laws. Even in the absence of an FTC challenge, other governmental or private litigants may assert antitrust or other claims relating to such agreements. Accordingly, we may receive formal or informal requests from the FTC or other governmental entities for information about any such settlement agreement we enter into, and there is a risk that the FTC or other governmental or private litigants may commence an action against us alleging violation of antitrust laws or other claims.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in FTC v. Actavis, determined that patent settlement agreements between generic and brand companies should be evaluated under the rule of reason, but provided limited guidance beyond the selection of this standard. Because the Supreme Court did not articulate the full range of criteria upon which a determination of the legality of such settlements would be based, or provide guidance on the precise circumstances under which such settlements would qualify as legal, there may be extensive litigation over what constitutes a reasonable and lawful patent settlement between a brand and generic company. For example, certain of our subsidiaries are subject to multiple lawsuits, including proposed class actions, brought by direct and indirect purchasers alleging that a patent settlement agreement with Impax Laboratories, LLC (now Amneal) regarding OPANA® ER was unlawful in violation of federal antitrust laws and various state laws.
There have been federal and state legislative efforts to overturn the FTC v. Actavis decision and make certain terms in patent settlement agreements per se unlawful. For example, some members of the U.S. Congress have proposed legislation that would limit the types of settlement agreements generic manufacturers and brand companies can enter into. The state of California recently enacted legislation, effective January 1, 2020, that deems a settlement of a patent infringement claim to be presumptively anticompetitive and allows the California Attorney General to seek monetary penalties if a generic company receives anything of value from the branded company and the generic company agrees to delay research and development, manufacturing, marketing or sales of the generic product for any period of time. The California law carves out from the definition of “anything of value” certain types of settlement terms and it allows the settling parties to rebut the presumption of anticompetitive harm.
We have significant goodwill and other intangible assets. Consequently, potential impairments of goodwill and other intangibles may significantly impact our profitability.
Goodwill and other intangibles represent a significant portion of our assets. As of December 31, 2019 and 2018, goodwill and other intangibles comprised approximately 66% and 71%, respectively, of our total assets. Goodwill and other indefinite-lived intangible assets are subject to impairment tests at least annually. Additionally, impairment tests must be performed for certain assets whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate such assets’ carrying amounts may not be recoverable.
For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, we recorded asset impairment charges of $0.5 billion, $0.9 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively, which related primarily to goodwill and other intangible assets. Refer to Note 10. Goodwill and Other Intangibles in the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part IV, Item 15 of this report for examples and a discussion of material impairment tests and impairment charges during the years ended years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017. The procedures and assumptions used in our goodwill and other intangible assets impairment testing are discussed in Part II, Item 7 of this report “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” under the caption “CRITICAL ACCOUNTING ESTIMATES” and in Note 10. Goodwill and Other Intangibles in the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part IV, Item 15 of this report.
Events giving rise to asset impairments are an inherent risk in the pharmaceutical industry and often cannot be predicted. As a result of the significance of goodwill and other intangible assets, our results of operations and financial position in future periods could be negatively impacted should additional impairments of our goodwill or other intangible assets occur.
We are subject to various laws and regulations pertaining to the marketing of our products and services.
The marketing and pricing of our products and services, including product promotion, educational activities, support of continuing medical education programs and other interactions with healthcare professionals, are governed by various laws and regulations, including FDA regulations and the Anti-Kickback Statute. Additionally, many states have adopted laws similar to the Anti-Kickback Statute, without identical exceptions or exemptions. Some of these state prohibitions apply to referral of patients for healthcare items or services reimbursed by any third-party payer, not only the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Any such regulations or requirements could be difficult and expensive for us to comply with, could delay our introduction of new products and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, it is unclear at this time whether the October Proposed Rule revising safe harbors to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute to, among other things, add new safe harbors for certain value-based arrangements, will be adopted or, if adopted, what effect, if any, it would have on the cost of complying with and our ability to comply with the federal Anti-Kickback Statute or on our business. See “Governmental Regulation” in Part I, Item 1.
Sanctions for violating these laws include criminal penalties and civil sanctions and possible exclusion from federally funded healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid as well as potential liability under the False Claims Act and applicable state false claims acts. There can be no assurance that our practices will not be challenged under these laws in the future, that changes in these laws or interpretation of these laws would not give rise to new challenges of our practices or that any such challenge would not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Law enforcement agencies sometimes initiate investigations into sales, marketing and/or pricing practices based on preliminary information or evidence, and such investigations can be and often are closed without any enforcement action. Nevertheless, these types of investigations and any related litigation can result in: (i) large expenditures of cash for legal fees, payment of penalties and compliance activities; (ii) limitations on operations; (iii) diversion of management resources; (iv) injury to our reputation; and (v) decreased demand for our products.
The FFDCA and FDA regulations and guidance restrict the ability of healthcare companies, such as our company, to communicate with patients, physicians and other third-parties about uses of prescription pharmaceuticals or devices that are not cleared or approved by the FDA, which are commonly referred to as “off-label” uses. Prohibitions on the promotion of off-label uses and against promotional practices deemed false or misleading are actively enforced by various parties at both the federal and state level. A company that is found to have improperly promoted its products under these laws may be subject to significant liability, including significant administrative, civil and criminal sanctions including, but not limited to, significant civil damages, criminal fines and exclusion from participation in Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs. Applicable laws governing product promotion also provide for administrative, civil and criminal liability for individuals, including, in some circumstances, potential strict vicarious liability. Conduct giving rise to such liability could also form the basis for private civil litigation by third-party payers or other persons allegedly harmed by such conduct.
We have established and implemented a corporate compliance program designed to prevent, detect and correct violations of state and federal healthcare laws, including laws related to advertising and promotion of our products. Nonetheless, enforcement agencies or private plaintiffs may take the position that we are not in compliance with such requirements and, if such non-compliance is proven, the Company and, in some cases, individual employees, may be subject to significant liability, including the aforementioned administrative, civil and criminal sanctions.
In February 2014, Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. (EPI) entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement and a Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to resolve allegations regarding the promotion of LIDODERM®. In March 2013, our subsidiary Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. (PPCI) entered into a CIA and plea agreement with the DOJ to resolve allegations regarding the promotion of MEGACE® ES, which was subsequently subsumed by EPI’s CIA. Those agreements placed certain obligations on us related to the marketing of our pharmaceutical products and our healthcare regulatory compliance program, including reporting requirements to the U.S. government, detailed requirements for our compliance program, code of conduct and policies and procedures and the requirement to engage an Independent Review Organization. We have implemented procedures and practices to comply with the CIAs, including the engagement of an Independent Review Organization. In February 2020, Endo was notified that it had satisfied its CIA requirements and the 5-year term of Endo’s CIA has now concluded.
The pharmaceutical industry is heavily regulated, which creates uncertainty about our ability to bring new products to market and imposes substantial compliance costs on our business, including withdrawal or suspension of existing products.
Governmental authorities including without limitation the FDA impose substantial requirements on the development, manufacture, holding, labeling, marketing, advertising, promotion, distribution and sale of therapeutic pharmaceutical products. See “Governmental Regulation” in Part I, Item 1.
Regulatory approvals for the sale of any new product candidate may require preclinical studies and clinical trials that such product candidate is safe and effective for its intended use. Preclinical and clinical studies may fail to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of a product candidate. Likewise, we may not be able to demonstrate through clinical trials that a product candidate’s therapeutic benefits outweigh its risks. Even promising results from preclinical and early clinical studies do not always accurately predict results in later, large-scale trials. A failure to demonstrate safety and efficacy would result in our failure to obtain regulatory approvals. Clinical trials can be delayed for reasons outside of our control, which can lead to increased development costs and delays in regulatory approval. For example, there is substantial competition to enroll patients in clinical trials, and such competition has delayed clinical development of our products in the past. For example, patients could enroll in clinical trials more slowly than expected or could drop out before or during clinical trials. In addition, we may rely on collaboration partners that may control or make changes in trial protocol and design enhancements, or encounter clinical trial compliance-related issues, which may also delay clinical trials. Product supplies may be delayed or be insufficient to treat the patients participating in the clinical trials and manufacturers or suppliers may not meet the requirements of the FDA or foreign regulatory authorities, such as those relating to cGMP. We also may experience delays in obtaining, or we may not obtain, required initial and continuing approval of our clinical trials from institutional review boards. We may experience delays or undesired results in any of our clinical trials.
Compliance with clinical trial requirements and cGMP regulations requires significant expenditures and the dedication of substantial resources. The FDA may place a hold on a clinical trial and may cause a suspension or withdrawal of product approvals if regulatory standards are not maintained. In the event an approved manufacturing facility for a particular drug is required by the FDA to curtail or cease operations, or otherwise becomes inoperable, or a third party contract manufacturing facility faces manufacturing problems, obtaining the required FDA authorization to manufacture at the same or a different manufacturing site could result in production delays, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Additional delays may result if an FDA advisory committee or other regulatory authority recommends non-approval or restrictions on approval. Although the FDA is not required to follow the recommendations of its advisory committees, it usually does. A negative advisory committee meeting could signal a lower likelihood of approval, although the FDA may still end up approving our application. Regardless of an advisory committee meeting outcome or the FDA’s final approval decision, public presentation of our data may shed positive or negative light on our application.
We may seek FDA approval for certain unapproved marketed products through the 505(b)(2) regulatory pathway. See “Governmental Regulation” in Part I, Item 1. Even if we receive approval for an NDA under section 505(b)(2) of the FFDCA, the FDA may not take timely enforcement action against companies marketing unapproved versions of the product; therefore, we cannot be sure that that we will receive the benefit of any de facto exclusive marketing period or that we will fully recoup the expenses incurred to obtain an approval. In addition, certain competitors and others have objected to the FDA’s interpretation of Section 505(b)(2). If the FDA’s interpretation of Section 505(b)(2) is successfully challenged, this could delay or even prevent the FDA from approving any NDA that we submit under Section 505(b)(2).
The ANDA approval process for a new product varies in time, generally requiring a minimum of 10 months following submission of the ANDA to FDA, but could also take several years from the date of application. The timing for the ANDA approval process for generic products is difficult to estimate and can vary significantly. ANDA approvals, if granted, may not include all uses (known as indications) for which a company may seek to market a product.
The submission of an NDA, Supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA), ANDA, BLA or sBLA to the FDA with supporting clinical safety and efficacy data does not guarantee that the FDA will grant approval to market the product. Meeting the FDA’s regulatory requirements to obtain approval to market a drug product, which vary substantially based on the type, complexity and novelty of the product candidate, typically takes years, if approved at all, and is subject to uncertainty. The FDA or foreign regulatory authorities may not agree with our assessment of the clinical data or they may interpret it differently. Such regulatory authorities may require additional or expanded clinical trials. Any approval by regulatory agencies may subject the marketing of our products to certain limits on indicated use. For example, regulatory authorities may approve any of our product candidates for fewer or more limited indications than we may request, may grant approval contingent on conditions such as the performance and results of costly post-marketing clinical trials or REMS or may approve a product candidate with a label that does not include the labeling claims necessary or desirable for the successful commercialization of that product candidate. Additionally, reimbursement by government payers or other payers may not be approved at the price we intend to charge for our products. Any limitation on use imposed by the FDA or delay in or failure to obtain FDA approvals or clearances of products developed by us would adversely affect the marketing of these products and our ability to generate product revenue. We could also be at risk for the value of any capitalized pre-launch inventories related to products under development. The factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Once a product is approved or cleared for marketing, failure to comply with applicable regulatory requirements can result in, among other things, suspensions or withdrawals of approvals or clearances; seizures or recalls of products; injunctions against the manufacture, holding, distribution, marketing and sale of a product; and civil and criminal sanctions. For example, any failure to effectively identify, analyze, report and protect adverse event data and/or to fully comply with relevant laws, rules and regulations around adverse event reporting could expose the Company to legal proceedings, penalties, fines and reputational damage. Furthermore, changes in existing regulations or the adoption of new regulations could prevent us from obtaining, or affect the timing of, future regulatory approvals or clearances. Meeting regulatory requirements and evolving government standards may delay marketing of our new products for a considerable period of time, impose costly procedures upon our activities and result in a competitive advantage to other companies that compete against us.
In addition, after a product is approved or cleared for marketing, new data and information, including information about product misuse or abuse at the user level, may lead government agencies, professional societies, practice management groups or patient or trade organizations to recommend or publish guidance or guidelines related to the use of our products, which may lead to reduced sales of our products. For example, in May 2016, an FDA advisory panel recommended mandatory training of all physicians who prescribe opioids on the risks of prescription opioids. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued a guideline for prescribing opioids for chronic pain that provides recommendations for primary care clinicians prescribing opioids for chronic pain outside of active cancer treatment, palliative care and end-of-life care. In addition, state health departments and boards of pharmacy have authority to regulate distribution and may modify their regulations with respect to prescription opioid medications in an attempt to curb abuse. These or any new regulations or requirements could be difficult and expensive for us to comply with and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The FDA scheduled a Joint Meeting of the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee and the Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee in March 2017 to discuss pre- and post-marketing data about the abuse of OPANA® ER and the overall risk-benefit of this product. The advisory committees were also scheduled to discuss abuse of generic oxymorphone ER and oxymorphone immediate-release products. In March 2017, the advisory committees voted 18 to eight, with one abstention, that the benefits of reformulated OPANA® ER no longer outweigh its risks. While several of the advisory committee members acknowledged the role of OPANA® ER in clinical practice, others believed its benefits were overshadowed by the continuing public health concerns around the product’s misuse, abuse and diversion. In June 2017, the FDA requested that we voluntarily withdraw OPANA® ER from the market and, in July 2017, after careful consideration and consultation with the FDA, we decided to voluntarily remove OPANA® ER from the market to the Company’s financial detriment. During the second quarter of 2017, we began to work with the FDA to coordinate an orderly withdrawal of the product from the market. By September 1, 2017, we ceased shipments of OPANA® ER to customers and we expect the NDA will be withdrawn. These actions had an adverse effect on our revenues and, as a result of these actions, we incurred certain charges. Actions similar to these, such as recalls or withdrawals, could divert management time and attention, reduce market acceptance of all of our products, harm our reputation, reduce our revenues, lead to additional charges or expenses or result in product liability claims, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Based on scientific developments, post-market experience, legislative or regulatory changes or other factors, the current FDA standards of review for approving new pharmaceutical products, or new indications or uses for approved or cleared products, are sometimes more stringent than those that were applied in the past.
Some new or evolving FDA review standards or conditions for approval or clearance were not applied to many established products currently on the market, including certain opioid products. As a result, the FDA does not have safety databases on these products that are as extensive as some products developed more recently. Accordingly, we believe the FDA has expressed an intention to develop such databases for certain of these products, including many opioids. In particular, the FDA has expressed interest in specific chemical structures that may be present as impurities in a number of opioid narcotic APIs, such as oxycodone, which, based on certain structural characteristics and laboratory tests, may indicate the potential for having mutagenic effects. The FDA has required, and may continue to require, more stringent controls of the levels of these or other impurities in products.
Also, the FDA may require labeling revisions, formulation or manufacturing changes and/or product modifications for new or existing products containing impurities. More stringent requirements, together with any additional testing or remedial measures that may be necessary, could result in increased costs for, or delays in, obtaining approvals. Although we do not believe that the FDA would seek to remove a currently marketed product from the market unless the effects of alleged impurities are believed to indicate a significant risk to patient health, we cannot make any such assurance.
The FDA’s exercise of its authority under the FFDCA could result in delays or increased costs during product development, clinical trials and regulatory review, increased costs to comply with additional post-approval regulatory requirements and potential restrictions on sales of approved products. For example, in 2015, the FDA sent letters to a number of manufacturers, including Endo, requiring that a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial be conducted to evaluate the effect of TRT on the incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events in men. The letter received by Endo required that we include new safety information in the labeling and Medication Guide for certain prescription medications containing testosterone, such as TESTIM®.
Post-marketing studies and other emerging data about marketed products, such as adverse event reports, may adversely affect sales of our products. Furthermore, the discovery of significant safety or efficacy concerns or problems with a product in the same therapeutic class as one of our products that implicate or appear to implicate the entire class of products could have an adverse effect on sales of our product or, in some cases, result in product withdrawals. The FDA has continuing authority over the approval of an NDA, ANDA or BLA and may withdraw approval if, among other reasons, post-marketing clinical or other experience, tests or data show that a product is unsafe for use under the conditions upon which it was approved or licensed, or if FDA determines that there is a lack of substantial evidence of the product’s efficacy under the conditions described in its labeling.
In addition to the FDA and other U.S. regulatory agencies, non-U.S. regulatory agencies may have authority over various aspects of our business and may impose additional requirements and costs. Similar to other healthcare companies, our facilities in multiple countries across the full range of our business units are subject to routine and new-product related inspections by regulatory authorities including the FDA, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the Health Products Regulatory Authority and Health Canada. In the past, some of these inspections have resulted in inspection observations (including FDA Form 483 observations). We have responded to all inspection observations within the required timeframe and have implemented, or are continuing to implement, the corrective action plans as agreed with the relevant regulatory agencies. Future inspections may result in additional inspection observations or other corrective actions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Several of our core products contain controlled substances. Stringent DEA and other governmental regulations on our use of controlled substances include restrictions on their use in research, manufacture, distribution and storage. A breach of these regulations could result in imposition of civil penalties, refusal to renew or action to revoke necessary registrations, or other restrictions on operations involving controlled substances. In addition, failure to comply with applicable legal requirements could subject the manufacturing facilities of our subsidiaries and manufacturing partners to possible legal or regulatory action, including shutdown. Any such shutdown may adversely affect their ability to manufacture or supply product and thus, our ability to market affected products. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. See also the risk described under the caption “The DEA limits the availability of the active ingredients used in many of our products as well as the production of these products, and, as a result, our procurement and production quotas may not be sufficient to meet commercial demand or complete clinical trials.”
In addition, we are subject to the Federal Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) enacted by the U.S. government, which requires development of an electronic pedigree to track and trace each prescription product at the salable unit level through the distribution system. The DSCSA will be effective incrementally over a 10-year period from its enactment on November 27, 2013. Compliance with DSCSA and future U.S. federal or state electronic pedigree requirements could require significant capital expenditures, increase our operating costs and impose significant administrative burdens.
We cannot determine what effect changes in laws, regulations or legal interpretations or requirements by the FDA, the courts or others, when and if promulgated or issued, or advisory committee meetings may have on our business in the future. Changes could, among other things, require expanded or different labeling, additional testing, monitoring of patients, interaction with physicians, education programs for patients or physicians, curtailment of necessary supplies, limitations on product distribution, the recall or discontinuance of certain products and additional recordkeeping. Any such changes could result in additional litigation and may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. The evolving and complex nature of regulatory science and regulatory requirements, the broad authority and discretion of the FDA and the generally high level of regulatory oversight results in a continuing possibility that, from time to time, we will be adversely affected by regulatory actions despite our ongoing efforts and commitment to achieve and maintain full compliance with all regulatory requirements.
The success of our acquisition and licensing strategy is subject to uncertainty and acquisitions or licenses may reduce our earnings, be difficult to integrate, not perform as expected or require us to obtain additional financing.
We regularly evaluate selective acquisitions and look to continue to enhance our product line by acquiring rights to additional products and compounds. Such acquisitions may be carried out through corporate acquisitions, asset acquisitions, licensing or joint venture arrangements. However, we may not be able to complete acquisitions, obtain licenses or enter into arrangements that meet our target criteria on satisfactory terms, if at all. For example, we may not be able to identify suitable acquisition candidates. In addition, any acquisition of assets and rights to products and compounds may fail to accomplish our strategic objective and may not perform as expected. Further, if we are unable to maintain, on commercially reasonable terms, product, compound or other licenses that we have acquired, our ability to develop or commercialize our products may be inhibited. In order to continue to develop and broaden our product range, we must compete to acquire assets. Our competitors may have greater resources than us and therefore be better able to complete acquisitions or licenses, which could cause us to be unable to consummate acquisitions, licensing agreements or cause the ultimate price we pay to increase. If we fail to achieve our acquisition or licensing goals, our growth may be limited.
Acquisitions of companies may expose us to additional risks, which may be beyond our control and may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. The combination of two independent businesses is a complex, costly and time-consuming process. As a result, we may be required to devote significant management attention and resources to the integration of an acquired business into our practices and operations. Any integration process may be disruptive and may not achieve realization of expected benefits. The difficulties of combining operations of companies include, among others:
diversion of management’s attention to integration matters;
difficulties in achieving anticipated cost or tax savings, synergies, business opportunities and growth prospects from the combination of the businesses;
difficulties in the integration of operations and systems;
the impact of pre-existing legal and/or regulatory issues;
difficulties in conforming standards, controls, procedures and accounting and other policies, business cultures and compensation structures between the companies;
difficulties in the assimilation of employees and retention of key personnel;
difficulties in managing the expanded operations of a larger and more complex company;
challenges in retaining existing customers and obtaining new customers;
potential unknown liabilities or larger liabilities than projected;
unforeseen increases to expenses or other adverse consequences associated with the transaction; and
difficulties in coordinating a geographically dispersed organization.
In addition, any acquisitions may result in material unanticipated problems, expenses, liabilities, competitive responses and loss or disruption of relationships with customers, suppliers, partners, regulators and others with whom we have business or other dealings.
The benefits of mergers and acquisitions are also subject to a variety of other factors, many of which are beyond our ability to control, such as changes in the rate of economic growth in jurisdictions in which the combined company will do business, the financial performance of the combined business in various jurisdictions, currency exchange rate fluctuations and significant changes in trade, monetary or fiscal policies, including changes in interest rates and tax law of the jurisdictions in which the combined company will do business. The impact of these factors, individually and in the aggregate, is difficult to predict, in part because the occurrence of the events or circumstances relating to such factors may be interrelated, and the impact to the combined company of the occurrence of any one of these events or circumstances could be compounded or, alternatively, reduced, offset or more than offset by the occurrence of one or more of the other events or circumstances relating to such factors.
In addition, based on current acquisition prices in the pharmaceutical industry, acquisitions could decrease our net income per share and add significant intangible assets and related amortization or impairment charges. Our acquisition strategy may require us to obtain additional debt or equity financing, resulting in additional debt obligations, increased interest expense or dilution of equity ownership. We may not be able to finance acquisitions on terms satisfactory to us, or at all.
We may decide to sell assets, which could adversely affect our prospects and opportunities for growth.
We may from time to time consider selling certain assets if we determine that such assets are not critical to our strategy or we believe the opportunity to monetize the asset is attractive or for various other reasons, including for the reduction of indebtedness. For example, we divested both Litha and Somar in 2017 and various ANDAs throughout 2018 and 2019. We will continue to explore the sale of certain non-core assets. Although our expectation is to engage in asset sales only if they advance or otherwise support our overall strategy, we may be forced to sell assets in response to liquidation or other claims described herein, and any such sale could reduce the size or scope of our business, our market share in particular markets or our opportunities with respect to certain markets, products or therapeutic categories. As a result, any such sale could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The availability of third party reimbursement for our products is uncertain, and we may find it difficult to maintain current price levels. Additionally, the market may not accept those products for which third party reimbursement is not adequately provided.
Our ability to commercialize our products depends, in part, on the extent to which reimbursement for the costs of these products is available from government healthcare programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare, private health insurers and others. We cannot be certain that, over time, third party reimbursements for our products will be adequate for us to maintain price levels sufficient for realization of an appropriate return on our investment. Government payers, private insurers and other third party payers are increasingly attempting to contain healthcare costs by: (i) limiting both coverage and the level of reimbursement (including adjusting co-pays) for products, (ii) refusing, in some cases, to provide any coverage for off-label uses for products and (iii) requiring or encouraging, through more favorable reimbursement levels or otherwise, the substitution of generic alternatives to branded products.
The Trump Administration also has been targeting pharmaceutical prices in ways that could affect reimbursement for our products. For example, beginning in January 2020, Medicare Advantage Plans are permitted to apply “step therapy” to products covered under Part B, which could impact our ability to negotiate for favorable product access in this sector. Additionally, in October 2018, President Trump announced a new initiative to contain costs by establishing an “international pricing index” that would be used as a benchmark in deciding how much to pay for Medicare Part B products. CMS issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Medicare Program that would reduce Part B spending and reimbursement in part based on the prices that manufacturers charge to customers in foreign countries (also referred to as reference pricing). This proposal targets physician-administered products. It is possible that any final rule could adversely affect reimbursement for certain products that we sell, and we cannot anticipate the adverse impact of this or similar developments on our business. Additionally, the Congress is considering multiple proposals impacting healthcare. There can be no assurance as to which proposals, if any, will be adopted, the final terms of any such proposals and the ultimate impact that such proposals would have on our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. The U.S. presidential election is also leading to significant policy proposals regarding healthcare and we cannot predict which policies will ultimately be adopted and how they would impact us.
New tariffs and evolving trade policy between the U.S. and other countries, including China, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We conduct business globally and our operations, including third party suppliers, span numerous countries outside the U.S. There is currently significant uncertainty about the future relationship between the U.S. and various other countries, including China, with respect to trade policies, treaties, government regulations and tariffs.
The Trump Administration has called for substantial changes to U.S. foreign trade policy, including the possibility of imposing greater restrictions on international trade and significant increases in tariffs on goods imported into the U.S. Such tariffs could potentially disrupt our existing supply chains and impose additional costs on our business, including costs with respect to raw materials upon which our business depends. Furthermore, if tariffs, trade restrictions or trade barriers are placed on products such as ours by foreign governments, it could cause us to raise prices for our products, which may result in the loss of customers. If we are unable to pass along increased costs to our customers, our margins could be adversely affected. Additionally, it is possible further tariffs may be imposed that could affect imports of APIs and other materials used in our products, or our business may be adversely impacted by retaliatory trade measures taken by other countries, including restricted access to APIs or other materials used in our products, causing us to raise prices or make changes to our products. Further, the continued threats of tariffs, trade restrictions and trade barriers could have a generally disruptive impact on the global economy and, therefore, negatively impact our sales. For example, the Trump Administration has placed tariffs on certain goods imported from China. In January 2020, the U.S. and China agreed to roll back certain tariffs, expand trade purchases and renew commitments on intellectual property, technology transfer and currency practices. Nevertheless, given the volatility and uncertainty regarding the scope and duration of these tariffs and other aspects of U.S. foreign trade policy, the impact on our operations and results is uncertain and could be significant. Further governmental action related to tariffs, additional taxes, regulatory changes or other retaliatory trade measures could occur in the future. Any of these factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We may experience pricing pressure on our products due to social or political pressure, which would reduce our revenue and future profitability.
We may experience downward pricing pressure on our products due to social or political pressure, which would reduce our revenue and future profitability. Price increases have resulted in increased public and governmental scrutiny of the cost of pharmaceutical products. For example, U.S. federal prosecutors have issued subpoenas to pharmaceutical companies in connection with an investigation into pricing practices conducted by the DOJ. Several state attorneys general also have commenced drug pricing investigations and filed lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies, including PPI, and the U.S. Senate has investigated a number of pharmaceutical companies relating to price increases and pricing practices. Our revenue and future profitability could be negatively affected if these or other inquiries were to result in legislative or regulatory proposals limiting our ability to increase or maintain the prices of our products.
In addition, the Trump Administration and a number of federal legislators continue to scrutinize pharmaceutical prices and are seeking ways to lower prices. For example, the Trump Administration’s “Blueprint” on pharmaceutical prices describes a number of mechanisms for lowering manufacturer list prices and reducing patient out-of-pocket costs. Although the Blueprint contains a number of policy objectives, we cannot know the form that any new requirements will take or the effect that they may have on our business. In December 2019, the Trump Administration, through the FDA, released a proposed rule and draft guidance that set forth two pathways for the legal importation of certain pharmaceutical products in an effort to control costs. Since these pathways are not yet effective and are subject to revision pending receipt of public comments, we cannot determine what effect these pathways may have on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, Congress has held a number of hearings related to pharmaceutical prices and a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators introduced legislation that would require pharmaceutical manufacturers to justify certain price increases. A large number of individual states also have introduced legislation aimed at pharmaceutical pricing regulation, transparency or both. For example, California, Oregon, Vermont and Nevada have enacted such laws. Our revenue and future profitability could be negatively affected by the passage of these laws or similar federal or state legislation. Pressure from social activist groups and future government regulations may also put downward pressure on the prices of pharmaceutical products in the future.
Our business is highly dependent upon market perceptions of us, our brands, and the safety and quality of our products and similar products, and may be adversely impacted by negative publicity or findings.
We are dependent on market perceptions, and negative publicity or findings associated with product quality, patient illness or other adverse effects resulting from, or perceived to be resulting from, our products, or similar products, or our partners’ and suppliers’ manufacturing facilities, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Market perceptions are very important to our business, especially market perceptions of our company and brands and the safety and quality of our products. If we, our partners and suppliers or our brands suffer negative publicity, or if any of our products or similar products are subject to market withdrawal or recall or are proven to be, or are claimed to be, ineffective or harmful to consumers, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
For example, the pharmaceutical supply chain has been increasingly challenged by the vulnerability of distribution channels to illegal counterfeiting and the presence of counterfeit products in a growing number of markets and over the internet. Third parties may illegally distribute and sell counterfeit versions of our products that do not meet the rigorous manufacturing and testing standards that our products undergo. Counterfeit products are frequently unsafe or ineffective and can be potentially life-threatening. Counterfeit medicines may contain harmful substances, the wrong dose of API or no API at all. However, to distributors and users, counterfeit products may be visually indistinguishable from the authentic version.
In addition, negative posts or comments about us on any social networking website could seriously damage our reputation. The inappropriate use of certain social media vehicles could cause brand damage or information leakage or could lead to legal implications from the improper collection and/or dissemination of personally identifiable information or the improper dissemination of material non-public information.
Furthermore, unfavorable media coverage about opioid abuse could negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In recent years, opioid abuse has received a high degree of media coverage. Unfavorable publicity regarding, for example, the use or misuse of oxycodone or other prescription opioid medications, the limitations of abuse-deterrent forms, public inquiries and investigations into drug abuse, including the abuse of prescription products, litigation or regulatory activity could adversely affect our reputation. Additionally, increased scrutiny of opioids generally, whether focused on our products or otherwise, could negatively impact our relationship with healthcare providers and other members of the healthcare community. Such negative publicity could have an adverse effect on the potential size of the market for new or existing products and could decrease revenues and royalties, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Our business and financial condition may be adversely affected by legislation.
We cannot predict with any certainty how existing laws may be applied or how laws or legal standards may change in the future. Current or future legislation, whether state or federal, or in any of the non-U.S. jurisdictions with authority over our operations, may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. For example, the effect of H.R. 6, enacted in October 2018, is still uncertain.
In addition, in April 2018, New York enacted a statute called the Opioid Stewardship Act (the Stewardship Act), which, among other things, provided for certain manufacturers and distributors of certain opioids in the state of New York (the Contributing Parties) to make payments to a newly created Opioid Stewardship Fund (the Fund). By its terms, the Stewardship Act required Contributing Parties to pay a combined total of up to $100 million annually into the Fund, with each Contributing Party’s share based on the total amount of morphine milligram equivalents (MME) of certain opioids sold or distributed by the Contributing Party in the state of New York during the preceding calendar year, subject to potential adjustments by the New York State Department of Health. Failure of a Contributing Party to make required reports or pay its ratable share, or a Contributing Party passing on the cost of its ratable share to a purchaser, could subject the Contributing Party to penalties. In December 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York held the Stewardship Act unconstitutional. This ruling is on appeal as of February 18, 2020. If the decision is reversed, we may be deemed to be a Contributing Party under the Stewardship Act and even if we are not considered to be a Contributing Party, or such a determination is never made, other entities may attempt to seek reimbursement from Endo for payments made related to products manufactured by Endo and distributed in New York. Furthermore, the application of the Stewardship Act may require additional regulatory guidance, which could be substantially delayed, increasing the uncertainty as to the ultimate effect of the Stewardship Act on us. If we are ultimately deemed to be a Contributing Party under the Stewardship Act, or similar legislation that could be enacted by New York or other jurisdictions, compliance with those laws could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
In the meantime, in April 2019, New York enacted an excise tax on the first sale of every opioid unit in New York at the rate of one quarter of a cent per MME where wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) is less than $0.50 and one and one half cents per MME where WAC is equal to or greater than $0.50. For purposes of this statute, “opioid” does not include buprenorphine, methadone or morphine and “sale” does not include transfers of title from a manufacturer in New York to a purchaser outside New York when the opioid unit will be used or consumed outside New York.
In October 2018, the Canadian province of British Columbia enacted a statute called the Opioid Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act, which allows the British Columbia government to file a direct action against opioid manufacturers and wholesalers to recover the health care costs it has incurred, and will incur, resulting from an “opioid-related wrong.” The statute defines “opioid-related wrong” to include any breach of a common law, equitable or statutory duty or obligation owed to persons in British Columbia who have been or might be exposed to an opioid product. The statute, among other effects, erases limitation periods for certain claims, reverses certain burdens of proof as to causation, allows the use of population-based evidence and restricts discovery of certain documents. The provinces of Alberta, Ontario and Newfoundland enacted similar legislation in 2019 and the province of Saskatchewan has announced that it expects to pass similar legislation in 2020. It is possible that these statutes, or similar statutes enacted by other jurisdictions, and resultant litigation, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
In Canada, the prices of patented pharmaceutical products are subject to regulation by the PMPRB. Under the Canadian Patent Act and Patented Medicines Regulations, patentees of inventions that pertain to pharmaceutical products sold in Canada are required to file price and sales information about their patented pharmaceutical products with the PMPRB. The PMPRB reviews this information on an ongoing basis to ensure that the prices of patented pharmaceuticals sold in Canada are not excessive, based upon price tests established by the PMPRB. There is a risk that the price of our pharmaceutical products could be found to be excessive because the price as set at launch is non-compliant with the PMPRB’s guidelines, or because our average sale prices over time are not compliant with the guidelines. Furthermore, amendments expected to come into force on July 1, 2020 will introduce a number of changes to the regulation of Canadian drug prices by the PMPRB. The PMPRB guidelines will be updated to introduce new price tests to account for changes introduced by the amendments. The application of the new price tests under the guidelines could result in the current prices of our pharmaceutical products being deemed to be excessive. Failure by us to comply with the current or future guidelines could ultimately result in us reducing the prices of the pharmaceutical products we sell in Canada and/or making a payment to the Canadian government to offset revenues deemed by the PMPRB to be excessive, which could ultimately reduce the revenues and cash flows of our International Pharmaceuticals segment and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
It is possible that these or other changes in law could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. See “Governmental Regulation” in Part I, Item 1.
Public concern around the abuse of opioids or other products, including without limitation law enforcement concerns over diversion or marketing practices, regulatory efforts to combat abuse, and litigation could result in costs to our business.
Media stories regarding drug abuse and diversion, including the abuse and diversion of prescription opioid medications and other controlled substances, are commonplace. Aggressive enforcement and unfavorable publicity regarding, for example, the use or misuse of opioids, the limitations of abuse-deterrent formulations, the ability of abusers to discover previously unknown ways to abuse our products, public inquiries and investigations into drug abuse or litigation or regulatory or enforcement activity regarding sales, marketing, distribution or storage of opioids could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, on the results of litigation and on our ability to attract or maintain relationships with third-party partners, including suppliers, vendors, advisors, distributors, manufacturers, collaboration partners, administrators and agents.
Manufacturers of prescription opioid medications have been the subject of significant civil and criminal investigatory and enforcement actions even in cases where such medications have received approval from the FDA or similar regulatory authorities. Numerous governmental and private persons and entities are pursuing litigation against opioid manufacturers, including us, as well as distributors and others, asserting alleged violations of various laws and regulations relating to opioids and/or other prescription medicines, relying on common law theories, and seeking to hold the defendants accountable for, among other things, societal costs associated with the misuse and abuse of prescription opioid medications as well as non-prescription opioids. There is a risk we will be subject to similar investigations, enforcement actions or litigations in the future, that we will suffer adverse decisions or verdicts of substantial amounts or that we will enter into monetary settlements. Any unfavorable outcomes as a result of such proceedings could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In 2019, several manufacturers of prescription opioid medications commenced cases under Title 11 of the U.S. Code in order to address the large volume of claims asserted against them in such litigation. See Note 15. Commitments and Contingencies in the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part IV, Item 15 of this report for more information.
Regulatory actions at the federal, state and local level may seek to limit or restrict the manufacturing, distribution or sale of opioids, both directly and indirectly, and/or to impose novel policy or regulatory mechanisms regarding the manufacturing, distribution or sales of opioids. For example, in April 2019, New York enacted an excise tax on opioids. See the risk factor “Our business and financial condition may be adversely affected by legislation” for more information. Many state legislatures are considering various bills intended to reduce opioid abuse such as by, for example, establishing prescription drug monitoring programs and mandating prescriber education.
Various government entities, including the U.S. Congress, state legislatures or other policy-making bodies in the U.S. or elsewhere may hold hearings, conduct investigations and/or issue reports calling attention to opioid misuse and abuse, and may mention or criticize the role of manufacturers, including us, in supplying or marketing opioid medications or failing to take adequate steps to detect or report suspicious orders or to prevent abuse and diversion. Press organizations have reported and likely will continue to report on these issues, and such reporting has and may further result in adverse publicity which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Our reporting and payment obligations under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program and other governmental drug pricing programs are complex and may involve subjective decisions. Any failure to comply with those obligations could subject us to penalties and sanctions.
We are subject to federal and state laws prohibiting the presentation (or the causing to be presented) of claims for payment (by Medicare, Medicaid or other third-party payers) that are determined to be false or fraudulent, including presenting a claim for an item or service that was not provided. These false claims statutes include the federal civil False Claims Act, which permits private persons to bring suit in the name of the government alleging false or fraudulent claims presented to or paid by the government (or other violations of the statutes) and to share in any amounts paid by the entity to the government in fines or settlement. Such suits, known as qui tam actions, have increased significantly in the healthcare industry in recent years. These actions against pharmaceutical companies, which do not require proof of a specific intent to defraud the government, may result in payment of fines to and/or administrative exclusion from the Medicare, Medicaid and/or other government healthcare programs.
We are subject to laws that require us to enter into a Medicaid Drug Rebate Agreement, a 340B Pharmaceutical Pricing Agreement and agreements with the Department of Veterans Affairs as a condition for having our products eligible for payment under Medicare Part B and Medicaid. We have entered into such agreements. In addition, we are required to report certain pricing information to CMS, the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs on a periodic basis to facilitate rebate payments to the State Medicaid Programs, to set Medicare Part B reimbursement levels and to establish the prices that can be charged to certain purchasers, including 340B-covered entities and certain government entities. Any failure to comply with these laws and agreements could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
With regard to the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, on February 1, 2016, CMS issued a Final Rule implementing the Medicaid Drug Rebate provisions incorporated into the PPACA, effective April 1, 2016 in most instances. Implementation of the Final Rule required operational adjustments by us in order to maintain compliance with applicable law. Ongoing compliance with these program rules, including the requirement that we adopt reasonable assumptions where law, regulation and guidance do not address specific participation issues, may impact the level of rebates that we owe under the program. The Final Rule also expanded the scope of the Medicaid Drug Rebate program to apply to U.S. territories and, pursuant to further rulemaking, that requirement is now effective April 1, 2022, which will require operational adjustments and may result in additional rebate liability. Finally, despite an initial proposal, CMS has not defined the term “line extension” for the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. CMS has indicated that manufacturers should rely on the statutory definition of that term and reasonable assumptions in determining which products should be subject to an alternative rebate calculation. In light of the lack of clear guidance on this issue, it is possible that CMS could in the future disagree with a manufacturer’s determination of which products should be subject to higher rebates under the “line extension” rebate calculation.
We and other pharmaceutical companies have been named as defendants in a number of lawsuits filed by various government entities, alleging generally that we and numerous other pharmaceutical companies reported false pricing information in connection with certain products that are reimbursable by state Medicaid programs, which are partially funded by the federal government. There is a risk we will be subject to similar investigations or litigations in the future, that we will suffer adverse decisions or verdicts of substantial amounts or that we will enter into monetary settlements. Any unfavorable outcomes as a result of such proceedings could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Decreases in the degree to which individuals are covered by healthcare insurance could result in decreased use of our products.
Employers may seek to reduce costs by reducing or eliminating employer group healthcare plans or transferring a greater portion of healthcare costs to their employees. Job losses or other economic hardships may also result in reduced levels of coverage for some individuals, potentially resulting in lower levels of healthcare coverage for themselves or their families. Further, in addition to the fact that the TCJA eliminated the PPACA’s requirement that individuals maintain insurance or face a penalty, additional steps by the Trump Administration or other parties to limit or end cost-sharing subsidies to lower-income Americans may increase instability in the insurance marketplace and the number of uninsured Americans. These economic conditions may affect patients’ ability to afford healthcare as a result of increased co-pay or deductible obligations, greater cost sensitivity to existing co-pay or deductible obligations and lost healthcare insurance coverage or for other reasons. We believe such conditions could lead to changes in patient behavior and spending patterns that negatively affect usage of certain of our products, including some patients delaying treatment, rationing prescription medications, leaving prescriptions unfilled, reducing the frequency of visits to healthcare facilities, utilizing alternative therapies or foregoing healthcare insurance coverage. Such changes may result in reduced demand for our products, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
In December 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas held in Texas v. Azar that, because the provisions of the PPACA requiring certain individuals to either obtain health insurance or pay a shared responsibility payment (known as the individual mandate) are no longer permissible under the U.S. Congress’ taxing power, the entire PPACA is no longer constitutional. The decision was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In December 2019, the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion holding that, while the individual mandate was no longer constitutional, the case must be remanded to the district court to further evaluate whether the mandate can be severed from the PPACA or the entire PPACA must be stricken down. In January 2020, petitions for certiorari were filed requesting that the U.S. Supreme Court review the Fifth Circuit’s decision and ultimately decide the constitutionality of the PPACA. The U.S. Supreme Court has not yet decided whether to grant the petitions. Changes in law resulting from this ongoing lawsuit or other court challenges to the PPACA could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Our customer concentration may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
We primarily sell our branded and generic products to wholesalers, retail drug store chains, supermarket chains, mass merchandisers, distributors, mail order accounts, hospitals and government agencies. Our wholesalers and distributors purchase products from us and, in turn, supply products to retail drug store chains, independent pharmacies and MCOs. Our current customer group reflects significant consolidation in recent years, marked by mergers and acquisitions and other alliances. For example, we understand that McKesson Corporation and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. are party to an agreement to jointly source generic pharmaceuticals and Express Scripts, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, Innovative Product Alignment, LLC, participates in the Walgreens Boots Alliance Development GmbH GPO. Consolidations and joint purchasing arrangements such as these have resulted in increased pricing and other competitive pressures on pharmaceutical companies, including us. Additionally, the emergence of large buying groups representing independent retail pharmacies and other distributors and the prevalence and influence of MCOs and similar institutions have increased the negotiating power of these groups, enabling them to attempt to extract various demands, including without limitation price discounts, rebates and other restrictive pricing terms. These competitive trends could continue in the future and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Total revenues from direct customers that accounted for 10% or more of our total consolidated revenues during the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 are as follows:
Cardinal Health, Inc.
Revenues from these customers are included within each of our segments. Accordingly, our revenues, financial condition or results of operations may also be unduly affected by fluctuations in the buying or distribution patterns of these customers. These fluctuations may result from seasonality, pricing, wholesaler inventory objectives or other factors. In addition, if we were to lose the business of any of these customers, or if any were to fail to pay us on a timely basis, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We are currently dependent on outside manufacturers for the manufacture of a significant amount of our products; therefore, we have and will continue to have limited control of the manufacturing process and related costs. Certain of our manufacturers currently constitute the sole source of one or more of our products.
Third party manufacturers currently manufacture a significant amount of our products pursuant to contractual arrangements. Certain of our manufacturers currently constitute the sole source of our products. For example, Teikoku Seiyaku Co., Ltd. is our sole source of LIDODERM® and GlaxoSmithKline plc is our sole source of VOLTAREN® Gel. Because of contractual restraints and the lead-time necessary to obtain FDA approval and/or DEA registration of a new manufacturer, there are no readily accessible alternatives to these manufacturers and replacement of any of these manufacturers may be expensive and time consuming and may cause interruptions in our supply of products to customers. Our business and financial viability are dependent on these third party manufacturers for continued manufacture of our products, the continued regulatory compliance of these manufacturers and the strength, validity and terms of our various contracts with these manufacturers. Any interruption or failure by these manufacturers to meet their obligations pursuant to various agreements with us on schedule or in accordance with our expectations, or any termination by these manufacturers of our supply arrangements, which, in each case, could be the result of one or many factors outside of our control, could delay or prevent our ability to achieve sales expectations, cause interruptions in our supply of products to customers, cause us to incur failure-to-supply penalties, disrupt our operations or cause reputational harm to our company, any or all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We are dependent on third parties to supply raw materials used in our products and to provide services for certain core aspects of our business. Any interruption or failure by these suppliers, distributors and collaboration partners to meet their obligations pursuant to various agreements with us could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We rely on third parties to supply raw materials used in our products. In addition, we rely on third party suppliers, distributors and collaboration partners to provide services for certain core aspects of our business, including manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, customer service support, medical affairs services, clinical studies, sales and other technical and financial services. All third party suppliers and contractors are subject to FDA and very often DEA requirements. Our business and financial viability are dependent on the continued supply of goods and services by these third parties, the regulatory compliance of these third parties and on the strength, validity and terms of our various contracts with these third parties. Any interruption or failure by our suppliers, distributors and collaboration partners to meet their obligations pursuant to various agreements with us on schedule or in accordance with our expectations, or any termination by these third parties of their arrangements with us, which, in each case, could be the result of one or many factors outside of our control, could delay or prevent the development, approval, manufacture or commercialization of our products, result in non-compliance with applicable laws and regulations, cause us to incur failure-to-supply penalties, disrupt our operations or cause reputational harm to our company, any or all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. We may also be unsuccessful in resolving any underlying issues with such suppliers, distributors and partners or replacing them within a reasonable time and on commercially reasonable terms.
APIs imported into the European Union (EU) must be certified as complying with the good manufacturing practice standards established by the EU, as stipulated by the International Conference for Harmonization. These regulations place the certification requirement on the regulatory bodies of the exporting countries. Accordingly, the national regulatory authorities of each exporting country must: (i) ensure that all manufacturing plants within their borders that export API into the EU comply with EU manufacturing standards and (ii) for each API exported, present a written document confirming that the exporting plant conforms to EU manufacturing standards. The imposition of this responsibility on the governments of the nations exporting API may cause a shortage of API necessary to manufacture our products, as certain governments may not be willing or able to comply with the regulation in a timely fashion, or at all. A shortage in API may cause us to cease manufacturing of certain products or to incur costs and delays to qualify other suppliers to substitute for those API manufacturers unable to export. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We are dependent on third parties to provide us with various estimates as a basis for our financial reporting. While we undertake certain procedures to review the reasonableness of this information, we cannot obtain absolute assurance over the accounting methods and controls over the information provided to us by third parties. As a result, we are at risk of them providing us with erroneous data which could impact our reporting. Refer to “CRITICAL ACCOUNTING ESTIMATES” in Part II, Item 7 of this report “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for information about our most significant accounting estimates.
If our manufacturing facilities are unable to manufacture our products or the manufacturing process is interrupted due to failure to comply with regulations or for other reasons, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
If any of our or our third party manufacturing facilities fail to comply with regulatory requirements or encounter other manufacturing difficulties, it could adversely affect our ability to supply products. All facilities and manufacturing processes used for the manufacture of pharmaceutical products are subject to inspection by regulatory agencies at any time and must be operated in conformity with cGMP and, in the case of controlled substances, DEA regulations. Compliance with the FDA’s cGMP and DEA requirements applies to both products for which regulatory approval is being sought and to approved products. In complying with cGMP requirements, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities must continually expend significant time, money and effort in production, recordkeeping, quality assurance and quality control so that their products meet applicable specifications and other requirements for product safety, efficacy and quality. Failure to comply with applicable legal requirements subjects our or our third party manufacturing facilities to possible legal or regulatory action, including shutdown, which may adversely affect our ability to supply our products. Additionally, our or our third party manufacturing facilities may face other significant disruptions due to labor strikes, failure to reach acceptable agreement with labor unions, infringement of intellectual property rights, vandalism, natural disaster, outbreak and spread of viral or other diseases, storm or other environmental damage, civil or political unrest, export or import restrictions or other events. Were we not able to manufacture products at our or our third party manufacturing facilities because of regulatory, business or any other reasons, the manufacture and marketing of these products could be interrupted. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
For example, the manufacturing facilities qualified to manufacture the enzyme CCH, which is included in our current XIAFLEX® product and in certain product candidates under development, including for the treatment of cellulite, are subject to such regulatory requirements and oversight. If such facilities fail to comply with cGMP requirements, we may not be permitted to sell our products or may be limited in the jurisdictions in which we are permitted to sell them. Further, if an inspection by regulatory authorities indicates that there are deficiencies, including non-compliance with regulatory requirements, we could be required to take remedial actions, stop production or close our facilities, which could disrupt the manufacturing processes and could limit the supply of CCH and/or delay clinical trials and subsequent licensure and/or limit the sale of commercial supplies. In addition, future noncompliance with any applicable regulatory requirements may result in refusal by regulatory authorities to allow use of CCH in clinical trials, refusal by the government to allow distribution of CCH within the U.S. or other jurisdictions, criminal prosecution, fines, recall or seizure of products, total or partial suspension of production, prohibitions or limitations on the commercial sale of products, refusal to allow the entering into of federal and state supply contracts and civil litigation.
We purchase certain API and other materials used in our manufacturing operations from foreign and U.S. suppliers. The price and availability of API and other materials is subject to volatility for a number of reasons, many of which may be outside of our control. There is no guarantee that we will always have timely, sufficient or affordable access to critical raw materials or supplies from third parties. An increase in the price, or an interruption in the supply, of any API or raw material could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We have limited experience in manufacturing biologic products and may encounter difficulties in our manufacturing processes, which could materially adversely affect our results of operations or delay or disrupt manufacture of those products reliant upon our manufacturing operations.
The manufacture of biologic products requires significant expertise and capital investment. Although we manufacture CCH, which is included in our current XIAFLEX® product and in certain product candidates under development, including for the treatment of cellulite, in our Horsham, Pennsylvania facility, we have limited experience in manufacturing CCH or any other biologic products. Biologics such as CCH require processing steps that are highly complex and generally more difficult than those required for most chemical pharmaceuticals. In addition, TESTOPEL® is manufactured using a unique, proprietary process. If the manufacturing processes are disrupted at the facilities where our biologic products are manufactured, it may be difficult to find alternate manufacturing sites. We may encounter difficulties with the manufacture of CCH and the active ingredient of TESTOPEL®, which could delay, disrupt or halt our manufacture of such products and/or product candidates, result in product recalls or product liability claims, require write-offs or otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The DEA limits the availability of the active ingredients used in many of our products as well as the production of these products, and, as a result, our procurement and production quotas may not be sufficient to meet commercial demand or complete clinical trials.
The DEA limits the availability of the active ingredients used in many of our products and sets a quota on the production of these products. We, or our contract manufacturing organizations, must annually apply to the DEA for procurement and production quotas in order to obtain these substances and produce our products. In addition, H.R. 6 amends the CSA with respect to quotas by requiring the DEA to estimate the amount and impact of diversion (including overdose deaths and abuse and overall public health impact) of fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone or hydromorphone and to make appropriate quota reductions. As a result, our procurement and production quotas may not be sufficient to meet commercial demand or to complete clinical trials. Moreover, the DEA may adjust these quotas from time to time during the year. Any delay or refusal by the DEA in establishing our quotas, or modification of our quotas, for controlled substances could delay or result in the stoppage of clinical trials or product launches, or could cause trade inventory disruptions for those products that have already been launched, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
If we are unable to retain our key personnel and continue to attract additional professional staff, we may be unable to maintain or expand our business.
Because of the specialized scientific nature of our business, our ability to develop products and to compete with our current and future competitors will remain highly dependent, in large part, upon our ability to attract and retain qualified scientific, technical and commercial personnel. The loss of key scientific, technical and commercial personnel or the failure to recruit additional key scientific, technical and commercial personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. While we have consulting agreements with certain key individuals and institutions and have employment agreements with our key executives, we may be unsuccessful in retaining personnel or their services under existing agreements. There is intense competition for qualified personnel in the areas of our activities and we may be unable to continue to attract and retain the qualified personnel necessary for the development of our business.
The trading prices of our securities may be volatile, and investments in our securities could decline in value.
The market prices for securities of Endo, and of pharmaceutical companies in general, have been highly volatile and may continue to be highly volatile in the future. For example, in 2019, our ordinary shares traded between $1.97 and $12.49 per share on the NASDAQ. The following factors, in addition to other risk factors described in this section, may cause the market value of our securities to fluctuate:
FDA approval or disapproval of any of the drug applications we have submitted;
the success or failure of our clinical trials;
new data or new analyses of older data that raise potential safety or effectiveness issues concerning our approved products;
product recalls or withdrawals;
competitors announcing technological innovations or new commercial products;
introduction of generic or compounded substitutes for our products, including the filing of ANDAs with respect to generic versions of our branded products;
developments concerning our or others’ proprietary rights, including patents;
competitors’ publicity regarding actual or potential products under development or other activities affecting our competitors or the industry in general;
regulatory developments in the U.S. and foreign countries, or announcements relating to these matters;
period-to-period fluctuations in our financial results;
new legislation, regulation, administrative guidance or executive orders, or changes in interpretation of existing legislation, regulation, administrative guidance or executive orders, including by virtue of new judicial decisions, that could affect the development, sale or pricing of pharmaceutical products, the number of individuals with access to affordable healthcare, the taxes we pay and/or other factors;
a determination by a regulatory agency that we are engaging or have engaged in inappropriate sales or marketing activities, including promoting off-label uses of our products;
social and political pressure to lower the cost of pharmaceutical products;
social and political scrutiny over increases in prices of shares of pharmaceutical companies that are perceived to be caused by a strategy of growth through acquisitions;
litigation against us or others;
reports of security analysts and rating agencies;
judgments or settlements or reports of settlement negotiations concerning opioid-related litigation or claims, and/or other companies commencing cases under Title 11 of the U.S. Code to address opioid-related litigation liabilities; and
changes in the political and regulatory environment and international relations as a result of events such as the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU (Brexit) and full or partial shutdowns of the U.S. federal government that may occur from time to time, the current U.S. administration and other external factors, including market speculation or disasters and other crises.
We have no plans to pay regular dividends on our ordinary shares or to conduct ordinary share repurchases.
We currently do not intend to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future on our ordinary shares. Additionally, while the Board has approved a share buyback program (the 2015 Share Buyback Program), of which there is approximately $2.3 billion available as of December 31, 2019, we currently do not intend to conduct ordinary share repurchases in the foreseeable future. Any declaration and payment of future dividends to holders of ordinary shares as well as any repurchase of our ordinary shares under the 2015 Share Buyback Program will be at the sole discretion of the Board and will depend on many factors, including our financial condition, earnings, capital requirements, level of indebtedness, statutory and contractual restrictions applying to the payment of both cash and property dividends or share repurchases and other considerations that the Board deems relevant. In addition, our existing debt instruments restrict or prevent us from paying dividends on our ordinary shares and conducting ordinary share repurchases. Agreements governing any future indebtedness, in addition to those governing our current indebtedness, may not permit us to pay dividends on our ordinary shares or conduct ordinary share repurchases.
Our business and operations could be negatively affected by shareholder activism, which could cause us to incur significant expenses, hinder execution of our business strategy and impact our share price.
In recent years, shareholder activism involving corporate governance, strategic direction and operations has become increasingly prevalent. If we become the subject of such shareholder activism, their demands may disrupt our business and divert the attention of our management, employees and Board. Also, we may incur substantial costs, including legal fees and other expenses, related to such activist shareholder matters. Perceived uncertainties resulting from such activist shareholder matters may result in loss of potential business opportunities with our current and potential customers and business partners, be exploited by our competitors and make attracting and retaining qualified personnel more difficult. In addition, such shareholder activism may cause significant fluctuations in our share price based on temporary or speculative market perceptions, uncertainties or other factors that do not necessarily reflect the underlying fundamentals and prospects of our business.
Our operations could be disrupted if our information systems fail, if we are unsuccessful in implementing necessary upgrades or if we are subject to cyber-attacks.
Our business depends on the efficient and uninterrupted operation of our computer and communications systems and networks, hardware and software systems and our other information technology. As such, we continuously invest financial and other resources to maintain, enhance, further develop, replace or add to our information technology infrastructure. Such efforts carry risks such as cost overruns, project delays and business interruptions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Additionally, these measures are not guaranteed to protect against all cybersecurity incidents.
In the ordinary course of our business, we collect and maintain information, which includes confidential, proprietary and personal information regarding our customers and employees, in digital form. Data maintained in digital form is subject to risk of cyber-attacks, which are increasing in frequency and sophistication and are made by groups and individuals with a wide range of motives and expertise, including criminal groups, “hackers” and others. Cyber-attacks could include the deployment of harmful malware, viruses, worms, denial-of-service attacks, ransomware, social engineering and other means to affect service reliability and threaten data confidentiality, integrity and availability. Despite our efforts to monitor and safeguard our systems to prevent data compromise, the possibility of a future data compromise cannot be eliminated entirely, and risks associated with intrusion, tampering and theft remain. In addition, we do not have insurance coverage with respect to system failures or cyber-attacks. If our systems were to fail or we are unable to successfully expand the capacity of these systems, or we are unable to integrate new technologies into our existing systems, our operations and financial results could suffer.
We also have outsourced certain elements and functions of our operations, including elements of our information technology infrastructure, to third parties, some of which are outside the U.S. As a result, we are managing many independent vendor relationships with third parties who may or could have access to our confidential information. The size and complexity of our and our vendors’ systems make such systems potentially vulnerable to service interruptions. The size and complexity of our and our vendors’ systems and the large amounts of confidential information that is present on them also makes them potentially vulnerable to security breaches from inadvertent or intentional actions by our employees, our partners, our vendors or other third parties, or from attacks by malicious third parties.
The Company and its vendors’ information technology operations are spread across multiple, sometimes inconsistent platforms, which pose difficulties in maintaining data integrity across systems. The ever-increasing use and evolution of technology, including cloud-based computing, creates opportunities for the unintentional or improper dissemination or destruction of confidential information stored in the Company’s systems.
Any breach of our security measures or the accidental loss, inadvertent disclosure, unapproved dissemination, misappropriation or misuse of trade secrets, proprietary information or other confidential information, whether as a result of theft, hacking, fraud, trickery or other forms of deception, or for any other cause, could enable others to produce competing products, use our proprietary technology or information and/or adversely affect our business position. Further, any such interruption, security breach, loss or disclosure of confidential information could result in financial, legal, business and reputational harm to our company and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Non-U.S. regulatory requirements vary, including with respect to the regulatory approval process, and failure to obtain regulatory approval or maintain compliance with requirements in non-U.S. jurisdictions would prevent or impact the marketing of our products in those jurisdictions.
We have worldwide intellectual property rights to market many of our products and product candidates and intend to seek approval to market certain of our existing or potential future products outside of the U.S. Approval of a product by the regulatory authorities of a particular country is generally required prior to manufacturing or marketing that product in that country. The approval procedure varies among countries and can involve additional testing and the time required to obtain such approval may differ from that required to obtain FDA approval. Non-U.S. regulatory approval processes generally include risks similar to those associated with obtaining FDA approval, as further described herein. Approval by the FDA does not guarantee approval by the regulatory authorities of any other country, nor does the approval by foreign regulatory authorities in one country guarantee approval by regulatory authorities in other foreign countries or by the FDA.
Outside of the U.S., regulatory agencies generally evaluate and monitor the safety, efficacy and quality of pharmaceutical products and devices and impose regulatory requirements applicable to manufacturing processes, stability testing, recordkeeping and quality standards, among others. These requirements vary by jurisdiction. In certain countries, including emerging and developing markets, the applicable healthcare and drug regulatory regimes are continuing to evolve and new requirements may be implemented. Ensuring and maintaining compliance with these varying and evolving requirements is and will continue to be difficult, time-consuming and costly. In seeking regulatory approvals in non-U.S. jurisdictions, we must also continue to comply with U.S. laws and regulations, including those imposed by the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). See the risk factor “The risks related to our global operations may adversely impact our revenues, results of operations and financial condition.” If we fail to comply with these various regulatory requirements or fail to obtain and maintain required approvals, our target market will be reduced and our ability to generate non-U.S. revenue will be adversely affected.
We could be adversely affected by the risks associated with having operated a medical device manufacturing business.
We are subject to various risks associated with having operated a medical device manufacturing business, which risks could have adverse effects, including potential and actual product liability claims for any defective or allegedly defective goods that were distributed and increased government scrutiny and/or potential claims regarding the marketing of medical devices.
We are subject to health information privacy and data protection laws that include penalties for noncompliance. Our failure to comply with various laws protecting the confidentiality of certain patient health information could result in penalties and reputational damage.
We are subject to a number of privacy and data protection laws and regulations globally. The legislative and regulatory landscape for privacy and data security continues to evolve. Certain countries in which we operate have, or are developing, laws protecting the confidentiality of individually identifiable personal information, including patient health information. This includes federal and state laws and regulations in the U.S. as well as in Europe and other markets.
For example, California recently adopted the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), which provides new data privacy rights for consumers and new operational requirements for businesses. The CCPA went into effect on January 1, 2020 and establishes a new privacy framework for covered businesses by creating an expanded definition of personal information, establishing new data privacy rights for consumers in the state of California and creating a new and potentially severe statutory damages framework for violations of the CCPA and for businesses that fail to implement reasonable security procedures and practices to prevent data breaches. Because the CCPA only recently went into effect, many of its requirements have not yet been interpreted by courts and best practices are still being developed, all of which increase the risk of compliance failure and related adverse impacts.
In addition, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which replaced the pre-existing EU Data Protection Directive and became enforceable as of May 25, 2018, imposes strict restrictions on our authority to collect, analyze and transfer personal data regarding persons in the EU, including health data from clinical trials and adverse event reporting. The GDPR, which has extra-territorial scope and substantial fines for breaches (up to 4% of global annual revenue or €20 million, whichever is greater) grants individuals whose personal data (which is very broadly defined) is collected or otherwise processed the right to access the data, request its deletion and control its use and disclosure. The GDPR also requires notification of a breach in the security of such data to be provided within 72 hours of discovering the breach. Although the GDPR itself is self-executing across all EU member states, data protection authorities from different EU member states may interpret and apply the regulation somewhat differently, which adds to the complexity of processing personal data in the EU. To date, there has been very little interpretation of the regulation by the EU member states’ different data protection authorities and little time for enforcement, which makes predicting future enforcement very difficult. That uncertainty contributes to liability exposure risk.
As did the pre-existing Data Protection Directive, the GDPR prohibits the transfer of personal data to countries outside of the EU that are not considered by the European Commission to provide an adequate level of data protection, and transfers of personal data to such countries may be made only in certain circumstances, such as where the transfer is necessary for important reasons of public interest or the individual to whom the personal data relates has given his or her explicit consent to the transfer after being informed of the risks involved.
We have policies and practices that we believe make us compliant with applicable privacy regulations, including the GDPR. Nevertheless, there remains a risk of failure to comply with the rules arising from the GDPR or privacy laws in other countries in which we operate. Should a transgression be deemed to have occurred, it could lead to government enforcement actions and significant sanctions or penalties against us, adversely impact our results of operations and subject us to negative publicity. Such liabilities could materially affect our operations.
There has also been increased enforcement activity in the U.S. particularly related to data security breaches. A violation of these laws or regulations by us or our third party vendors could subject us to penalties, fines, liability and/or possible exclusion from Medicare or Medicaid. Such sanctions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We face risks relating to the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU.
On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom held a remain-or-leave referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership within the EU, the result of which favored the Brexit. On March 29, 2017, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom delivered a formal notice of withdrawal to the EU. On May 22, 2017, the Council of the EU (the Council), adopted a decision authorizing the opening of Brexit negotiations with the United Kingdom and formally nominated the European Commission as the EU negotiator. The Council also adopted negotiating directives for the talks. On January 9, 2020, a Withdrawal Agreement Bill was passed by the United Kingdom House of Commons and, subject to scrutiny by the United Kingdom House of Lords, the Withdrawal Agreement Bill approves an eleven-month transition period starting on January 31, 2020 in which the United Kingdom will cease to be a member of the EU, but will continue to follow the EU’s rules and contribute to its budget. In the event a full trade deal is not reached between the United Kingdom and EU by the December 31, 2020 deadline and there is no further extension, trade relations between the United Kingdom and the EU will be governed by any terms agreed within this period or by the World Trade Organization Rules. The impact on our business as a result of Brexit will depend, in part, on the outcome of tariff, trade, regulatory and other negotiations and on the ultimate manner and timing of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU. As a result, we face risks associated with the potential uncertainty and consequences that may follow Brexit, including with respect to volatility in financial markets, exchange rates and interest rates. These uncertainties could increase the volatility of, or reduce, our investment results in particular periods or over time. Brexit could adversely affect political, regulatory, economic or market conditions in the United Kingdom and in Europe and it could contribute to instability in global political institutions and regulatory agencies.
Similarly, if the United Kingdom were to significantly alter its regulations affecting the pharmaceutical industry, we could face significant new costs. It may also be time-consuming and expensive for us to alter our internal operations in order to comply with new regulations. In addition, since a significant proportion of the regulatory framework in the United Kingdom is derived from EU directives and regulations, the referendum could materially impact the regulatory regime with respect to the approval of our product candidates in the United Kingdom or the EU. Any delay in obtaining, or an inability to obtain, any regulatory approvals, as a result of Brexit or otherwise, would prevent us from commercializing our product candidates in the United Kingdom and/or the EU and restrict our ability to generate revenue and achieve and sustain profitability. If any of these outcomes occur, we may be forced to restrict or delay efforts to seek regulatory approval in the United Kingdom and/or EU for our product candidates, which could significantly and materially harm our business. Similarly, it is unclear at this time what Brexit’s impact will have on our intellectual property rights and the process for obtaining and defending such rights. It is possible that certain intellectual property rights, such as trademarks, granted by the EU will cease being enforceable in the United Kingdom absent special arrangements to the contrary. Any of these factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The risks related to our global operations may adversely impact our revenues, results of operations and financial condition.
In 2019, approximately 4% of our total revenues were from customers outside the U.S. Some of these sales were to governmental entities and other organizations with extended payment terms. Conducting business internationally, including the sourcing, manufacturing, development, sale and distribution of our products and services across international borders, subjects us to extensive U.S. and foreign governmental trade regulations, such as various anti-bribery laws, including the FCPA, export control laws, customs and import laws, and anti-boycott laws. The FCPA and similar anti-corruption laws in other jurisdictions generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to government officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. We cannot provide assurance that our internal controls and procedures will always protect us from criminal acts committed by our employees or third parties with whom we work. If we are found liable for violations of the FCPA or other applicable laws and regulations, either due to our own acts or out of inadvertence, or due to the acts or inadvertence of others, we could suffer significant criminal, civil and administrative penalties, including, but not limited to, imprisonment of individuals, fines, denial of export privileges, seizure of shipments, restrictions on certain business activities and exclusion or debarment from government contracting, as well as reputational harm. Also, the failure to comply with applicable legal and regulatory obligations could result in the disruption of our shipping and sales activities.
In addition, some countries where we source, develop, manufacture or sell products are subject to political, economic and/or social instability. Our non-U.S. R&D, manufacturing and sales operations expose us and our employees, representatives, agents and distributors to risks inherent in operating in non-U.S. jurisdictions. For example, we perform certain of our R&D functions in India. We also manufacture certain of our products in India and expect that our Indian manufacturing operations could expand in the future. A disruption in our Indian operations could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. These risks include:
the imposition of additional U.S. and non-U.S. governmental controls or regulations;
the imposition of costly and lengthy new export licensing requirements;
the imposition of U.S. and/or international sanctions against a country, company, person or entity with whom we do business that would restrict or prohibit continued business with the sanctioned country, company, person or entity;
economic and political instability or disruptions, including local and regional instability, or disruptions due to natural disasters, such as severe weather and geological events, disruptions due to civil unrest and hostilities, rioting, military activity, terror attacks or armed hostilities;
changes in duties and tariffs, license obligations and other non-tariff barriers to trade;
the imposition of new trade restrictions including foreign exchange controls;
supply disruptions and increases in energy and transportation costs;
the imposition of restrictions on the activities of foreign agents, representatives and distributors;
changes in global tax laws and/or the imposition by tax authorities of significant fines, penalties and additional taxes;
pricing pressure that we may experience internationally;
fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates;
competition from local, regional and international competitors;
difficulties and costs of staffing and managing foreign operations, including cultural differences and additional employment regulations, union workforce negotiations and potential disputes in the jurisdictions in which we operate;
laws and business practices favoring local companies;
difficulties in enforcing or defending intellectual property rights; and
exposure to different legal and political standards due to our conducting business in foreign countries.
We also face the risk that some of our competitors have more experience with operations in such countries or with international operations generally and may be able to manage unexpected crises more easily. Furthermore, whether due to language, cultural or other differences, public and other statements that we make may be misinterpreted, misconstrued or taken out of context in different jurisdictions. Moreover, the internal political stability of, or the relationship between, any country or countries where we conduct business operations may deteriorate, including relationships between the U.S. and other countries. Changes in other countries’ economic conditions, product pricing, political stability or the state of relations between any such countries are difficult to predict and could adversely affect our operations, payment and credit terms and our ability to collect foreign receivables. Any such changes could lead to a decline in our profitability and/or adversely impact our ability to do business. Any meaningful deterioration of the political or social stability in and/or diplomatic relations between any countries in which we or our partners and suppliers do business could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. A substantial slowdown of the global economy, or major national economies, could negatively affect growth in the markets in which we operate. Such a slowdown could result in national governments making significant cuts to their public spending, including national healthcare budgets, or reducing the level of reimbursement they are willing and able to provide to us for our products and, as a result, adversely affect our revenues, financial condition or results of operations. We have little influence over these factors and changes could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We cannot provide assurance that one or more of these factors will not harm our business. Any material decrease in our non-U.S. R&D, manufacturing or sales could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness which could adversely affect our financial position and prevent us from fulfilling our obligations under such indebtedness, which may require us to refinance all or part of our then-outstanding indebtedness. Any refinancing of this substantial indebtedness could be at significantly higher interest rates. Additionally, we have a significant amount of floating rate indebtedness and an increase in interest rates would increase the cost of servicing our indebtedness. Despite our current level of indebtedness, we may still be able to incur substantially more indebtedness. This could increase the risks associated with our substantial indebtedness.
We currently have a substantial amount of indebtedness. As of December 31, 2019, we have total debt of approximately $8.47 billion in aggregate principal amount. Our substantial indebtedness may:
make it difficult for us to satisfy our financial obligations, including making scheduled principal and interest payments on our indebtedness;
limit our ability to borrow additional funds for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions or other general business purposes;
limit our ability to use our cash flow or obtain additional financing for future working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions or other general business purposes;
expose us to the risk of rising interest rates with respect to the borrowings under our variable rate indebtedness;
require us to use a substantial portion of our cash on hand and/or from future operations to make debt service payments;
limit our flexibility to plan for, or react to, changes in our business and industry;
place us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our less leveraged competitors; and
increase our vulnerability to the impact of adverse economic and industry conditions.
If we are unable to pay amounts due under our outstanding indebtedness or to fund other liquidity needs, such as future capital expenditures or contingent liabilities as a result of adverse business developments, including expenses related to our ongoing and future legal proceedings and governmental investigations as well as increased pricing pressures or otherwise, we may be required to refinance all or part of our then-existing indebtedness, sell assets, reduce or delay capital expenditures or seek to raise additional capital, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. There can be no assurance that we will be able to accomplish any of these alternatives on terms acceptable to us, or at all. Any refinancing of this substantial indebtedness could be at significantly higher interest rates, which will depend on the conditions of the markets and our financial condition at such time. In addition, we may be able to incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future, including secured indebtedness. If new indebtedness is added to our current debt levels, the related risks that we and our subsidiaries now face could intensify. At any time and from time to time, we may also be pursuing activities to extend our debt maturities, lower principal balances, reduce interest expense or obtain covenant flexibility. Activities could include, without limitation, one or more tender offers, exchange offers, debt-for-equity exchanges or consent solicitations. We cannot predict if or when we would conduct any such activity, whether any such activities will achieve their intended results or whether any such activity could impact our financial results or be dilutive.
While interest rates have been at record low levels in recent years, this low interest rate environment likely will not continue indefinitely. At December 31, 2019, approximately $3.3 billion and $0.3 billion of principal amounts outstanding under the Term Loan Facility and the Revolving Credit Facility (each as defined in Note 14. Debt in the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part IV, Item 15 of this report), respectively, bear interest at variable rates. Any future borrowings by the Company could also have variable interest rates. As a result, to the extent we have not hedged against rising interest rates, an increase in the applicable benchmark interest rates would increase our cost of servicing our indebtedness and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Changes in the method of determining the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), or the replacement of LIBOR with an alternative reference rate, may materially adversely affect our interest expense related to our outstanding debt.
A significant portion of our outstanding indebtedness, including, at December 31, 2019, $3.3 billion outstanding under the Term Loan Facility and $0.3 billion outstanding under the Revolving Credit Facility, bears interest rates in relation to LIBOR. Any future amounts borrowed under the Term Loan Facility or Revolving Credit Facility would also bear interest rates in relation to LIBOR, depending on our interest election. On July 27, 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom announced that it would phase out LIBOR as a benchmark by the end of 2021. The Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC), a steering committee comprised of large U.S. financial institutions, has proposed replacing LIBOR with a new index calculated by short-term repurchase agreements (the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR)). At this time, no consensus exists as to what rate or rates may become accepted alternatives to LIBOR, and it is impossible to predict whether and to what extent banks will continue to provide LIBOR submissions to the administrator of LIBOR, whether LIBOR rates will cease to be published or supported before or after 2021 or whether any additional reforms to LIBOR may be enacted in the United Kingdom or elsewhere. Such developments and any other legal or regulatory changes in the method by which LIBOR is determined or the transition from LIBOR to a successor benchmark may result in, among other things, a sudden or prolonged increase or decrease in LIBOR, a delay in the publication of LIBOR and changes in the rules or methodologies in LIBOR, which may discourage market participants from continuing to administer or to participate in LIBOR’s determination and, in certain situations, could result in LIBOR no longer being determined and published. If LIBOR ceases to exist, we may need to renegotiate the Credit Agreement (as defined in Note 14. Debt in the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part IV, Item 15 of this report) and we may not be able to do so on terms that are favorable to us. The overall financial market may be disrupted and there could be significant increases in benchmark rates or borrowing costs to borrowers as a result of the phase-out or replacement of LIBOR. Disruption in the financial market, significant increases in benchmark rates or borrowing costs or our inability to refinance the Credit Agreement with favorable terms could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Covenants in our debt agreements restrict our business in many ways, a default of which may result in acceleration of certain of our indebtedness.
We are subject to various covenants in the instruments governing our debt that limit our and/or our subsidiaries’ ability to, among other things: