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Prognosis

The $4.3 Billion Deal That Blew Up Over Shoddy Drug Production

After Fresenius offered to buy Akorn, it uncovered a litany of problems.

FDA Generics Akorn
Illustration: Joseph P. Kelly

Shortly after Fresenius SE made a $4.3 billion takeover offer for Akorn Inc. in April 2017, it sent a squadron of lawyers and consultants to comb through the generic drugmaker’s records for a routine review.

It didn’t take very long for the team to discover a litany of problems, unearthing systemic issues with pharmaceutical production, quality control and drug-testing data at Akorn that ultimately led the German drugmaker to want out.