Government Going After Doctor Kickbacks
In the history of drug litigation, one fact that clearly emerged is that companies paid doctors a lot of money or provided a great deal of free samples and gifts to promote their drugs. Many times the doctors were “thought leaders” or provided stipends to make “academic presentations” to doctors with the real purpose of promoting use of the drug. As result of this part of the marketing program, sales often soared and doctors and sales reps alike were rewarded. In December 2013, GSK announced it is changing its playbook and will no longer pay doctors to promote its drugs or shell out bonuses to sales reps based on their ability to boost prescription numbers.
CareFusion and Abbott Laboratories have recently settled with the federal government to resolve allegations stemming that the companies violated the False Claims Act by paying doctors kickbacks and promoting its products for uses that were not approved by the FDA.
CareFusion settled their claims for $40.1 million dollars. The settlement resolves allegations that CareFusion paid $11.6 million in kickbacks to Dr. Charles Denham while Denham served as the co-chair of the Safe Practices Committee at the National Quality Forum, a non-profit organization that reviews, endorses and recommends standardized health care performance measures and practices. The settlement also resolves claims that CareFusion knowingly promoted the sale of ChloraPrep for uses that were not approved by the FDA.
According to Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division Stuart F. Delery, “Corrupting the standard-setting process through kickbacks can affect the health care treatment choices that doctors and hospitals may make for patients.”
Click here to read about the CareFusion settlement: CareFusion to Pay the Government $40.1 Million to Resolve Allegations That Include More Than $11 Million in Kickbacks to One Doctor
Additionally, Abbott Laboratories will pay $5.475 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by paying kickbacks to encourage doctors to implant the company’s carotid, biliary and peripheral vascular products. The Illinois big pharma company was alleged to have paid prominent physicians for teaching assignments, speaking engagements and conferences with the expectation that these physicians would arrange for the hospitals with which they were affiliated to purchase Abbott’s carotid, biliary and peripheral vascular products.
Assistant Attorney General Stuart F. Delery stated, “Kickbacks undermine the ability of health care providers to objectively evaluate and treat their patients, and will continue to be a primary focus of the Department’s health care enforcement efforts.”
Click here to read about the Abbott Laboratories kickback allegation: Abbott Laboratories Pays U.S. $5.475 Million to Settle Claims That Company Paid Kickbacks to Physicians
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