The Justice Department revealed on Monday that Biogen will pay $900 million to settle claims that it provided doctors payments to entice them to prescribe its medications.
Michael Bawduniak, a former employee of Biogen who later became a whistleblower, filed a False Claims Act lawsuit against the pharmaceutical corporation on behalf of the federal government in 2012.
From 2009 through 2014, according to Bawduniak, Biogen allegedly paid kickbacks to doctors in the form of speaking fees, consultancy fees, and dinners to entice them to prescribe its multiple sclerosis medications.
According to the Justice Department, the alleged kickbacks led to bogus claims being submitted to Medicare and Medicaid for the prescription of Avonex, Tysabri, and Tecfidera.
In order to resolve the legal dispute, Biogen will pay the federal government $843 million as well as $56 million to 15 states. According to the Justice Department, Bawduniak will receive around $250 million of the federal proceeds.
According to Brian Boynton, chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, “the settlement reached today illustrates the essential role that whistleblowers play in supplementing the United States’ use of the False Claims Act to prevent fraud impacting government health care programmes.”
In a statement released on Monday, Biogen refuted all accusations of wrongdoing. The business claimed it wished to end the legal dispute so it could concentrate on other matters.
Biogen stated that it “believes its aim and conduct was always lawful and proper” and that it “denies all allegations brought in this lawsuit.” The United States and the states did not get involved in the dispute, and Biogen made no admissions of guilt in the settlement.
In its second quarter report, Biogen said that it had achieved a preliminary understanding to settle the lawsuit for $900 million.