Drugmaker Serono Pays $44M to Settle False Claims Allegations
EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA in Germany, has agreed to pay $44.3 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations over the marketing of Rebif, a drug used to treat multiple sclerosis, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Serono allegedly paid healthcare providers from Jan. 2002 through Dec. 2009 to induce them to promote or prescribe Rebif. Alleged payments to providers include those for hundreds of speaker training meetings and for providers' attendance at consultant, marketing and advisory board meetings — all of which were held at luxury resorts and upscale locations.
Through this alleged conduct, the lawsuit claimed Serono then submitted false claims to Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health programs that were tainted by kickbacks.
The United States will receive $34.6 million of Serono's settlement and various states will receive $9.7 million to settle their respective claims under Medicaid.
Read the U.S. Department of Justice release on EMD Serono and its settlement.
Related Articles on Pharmaceutical Companies:
Forest Laboratories CEO Howard Solomon May Face Ban From Federal Health Programs
Drugmaker Cardinal Health Pays $8M to Settle Kickback Allegations
Harvard Drug Group Pays $8M to Settle Claims of Failure to Report Suspicious Drug Orders
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