Johnson & Johnson affiliate helped grow GI practices in exchange for drug kickbacks, lawsuit says

Johnson & Johnson affiliate Janssen is accused of providing free business advisory services to grow gastroenterology practices' infusion suites, which would then boost prescriptions of two Janssen drugs, according to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

What you should know:

1. The whistleblower complaint accused Janssen of giving away services that "carry significant value" and would normally cost more than $1,200 per consultative session in exchange for growing the drug lines of Remicade, a Crohn's disease drug, and Simponi, an ulcerative colitis drug.

2. The complaint alleged that Janssen "effectively becomes a business partner … helping these practices establish, operate and grow their infusion business so they continue using and buying Remicade and Simponi."

3. Janssen allegedly also provided similar services to rheumatology practices. These practices would also buy Remicade and Simponi.

4. The whistleblower lawsuit was originally filed in 2016. The U.S. Department of Justice and several state attorney offices declined to intervene. The lawsuit was reintroduced in April 2019 by the whistleblower, a former employee.

5. Johnson & Johnson disclosed the reintroduced lawsuit in its annual 10-K filing Feb. 10.

Note: Becker's reached out to Johnson & Johnson for a comment. We will update this story when we hear back. 

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