Olympus of the Americas pays $646M settlement in kickback case: 6 things to know

Olympus of the Americas will pay millions in a civil and criminal penalties suit to settle kickback charges, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Here are six things to know:

1. Olympus admitted to paying physicians and hospitals in the United States bribes to promote its medical devices, according to the report. The company's Latin American unit is also resolving allegations it paid around $3 million to government-employed healthcare practitioners to increase sales.

2. The company's United States unit agreed to pay $623.2 million in civil and criminal penalties in one of the largest settlements under the federal anti-kickback law. The Latin American unit is paying $22.8 million in U.S. criminal penalties to resolve allegations against it.

3. Olympus admitted in court documents to conspiring to pay the kickbacks to physicians in the form of consulting fees, trips to Japan, cash grants and equipment loans to hospitals to retain business and win new contracts, according to the report.

4. The kickbacks generated $600 million in Olympus medical equipment sales, primarily endoscopes, over a five-year period, amounting to $230 million in gross profit.

5. A whistleblower, the company's former chief compliance officer, brought the first suit against Olympus U.S. in 2010. The whistleblower is receiving $5.1 million from the settlement. He was unsuccessful in resolving the issue internally.

6. Olympus U.S. entered into two deferred prosecution agreements and is required to "beef up" compliance training as well as maintain an effective compliance program. The company is also required to keep an independent monitor for the next three years.

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