(Reuters) – Three doctors will pay $ 122.6 million to settle claims that they used by charities that help cover Medicare patients' out-of-pocket drug costs as a way of paying refunds aimed at encouraging the use of their drugs, including a little expensive
The US Department of Justice on Thursday said that Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC, H. Lundbeck A / S and Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. had become the latest companies to settle claims arising from a cross-industry probe for the pharmaceutical business support for patient assistance charities.
The government has claimed in previous settlements that drug users used such charities as a means of incorrectly paying the copare obligations of Medicare patients using their drugs in violation of the Anti-Kickback Charter.
The survey came to an increasing attention on skyrocketing American drug prices. Copays are intended to serve partly as a control over healthcare costs by exposing patients to certain drugs and making them price-sensitive.
The department said Jazz will pay $ 57 million, Lundbeck will pay $ 52.6 million and Alexion will pay $ 1
None of the companies acknowledged inaccuracy. They did not respond promptly to the comments request.
Drug companies are prohibited from subsidizing copayments for patients enrolled in the Medicares Government Health Program for the Elderly. Companies can donate to non-profit organizations providing copay assistance as long as they are independent.
A study led by the US law firm in Boston has led to allegations that some drug practitioners and charities did not act independently enough.
The government considered Alexion 2010 asked for a foundation to set up a fund that could help patients cope with Soliris, a treatment for two rare blood problems costing over $ 500,000 a year, making it one of the most expensive drugs in the country.
Although such agents are usually set up to allow patients to receive treatment for a particular diagnosis, the government said Alexion who discussed with the Foundation that only supported patients using Soliris.
The department said that Jazz likewise prayed a basis for creating funds to cover copays for patients using their narcolepsy treatment Xyrem and its painkiller Prialt.
The Foundation's funds until 2014 were almost exclusively assisted patients singing the two drugs and referring them to chronic pain and trying to afford drugs other than Prialt elsewhere, the government said.
The department said that Lundbeck began donating millions of dollars in 2011 to a charity fund that apparently included copays of patients with Huntington's disease but in practice covered only copays of patients using its drug Xenazine.