FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin
Pharmaceuticals / Commercial Operations

Suits Allege Amgen, Bayer, and Gilead Paid Nurses to Hype Drugs

Dec. 19, 2017
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Three drugmakers are accused of paying kickbacks to nurses to promote their products to doctors in two newly unsealed lawsuits.

The complaints, filed in June in the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana Division, accuse Amgen, Gilead and Bayer of using several methods to promote their drugs via nurses — including using third parties to send out nurse educators to talk up the products and providing free nurses and reimbursement support services to physicians as an incentive to prescribe the drugs.

The practices led to Medicare and Medicaid paying out billions of dollars in improper reimbursements for prescriptions “tainted by kickbacks,” according to the complaints.

The lawsuit also names Amerisource Bergen, Covance and HealthStar Communications as involved in the scheme. According to the complaint, tens of thousands of patients were prescribed Bayer, Amgen and Gilead drugs “not based on clinical efficacy or patient-specific information, but rather as a result of the unlawful, substantial kickbacks” offered by the three drugmakers.

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