Kos Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Abbott Laboratories, has agreed to pay $41 million to quiet criminal and civil allegations that it violated the federal anti-kickback laws, when it allegedly bribed doctors, medical groups and managed care organizations to prescribe or recommend two of the company’s drugs, Advicor and Niaspan. In addition, the drug-maker settled allegations that it promoted the cholesterol-lowering drug Advicor for off-label uses.
The price tag to settle the civil allegations was $38 million. The criminal settlement required Kos Pharmaceuticals to ink a $3 million check, to enter into a deferred prosecution agreement, and to agree to the filing of a criminal information charging the company with one count of conspiracy to violate the anti-kickback statute.
Noticeably, the doctors who accepted the bribes were not held accountable. “As long as dishonest doctors are willing to be bought, drug companies will be able to bribe their way into America’s medicine cabinets,” said Nolan & Auerbach partner Jeb White. “We need to recognize that it takes two to tango in the underworld of pharmaceutical kickback schemes.”
For more information about qui tam law and pharmaceutical fraud, contact Nolan and Auerbach, PA.