U.S. Bioservices Settles Novartis Kickback Case

August 25, 2017

U.S. Bioservices will pay $13.4 million to settle a lawsuit concerning allegations the company illegally billed federal and state insurers for prescriptions for Novartis AG’s Exjade in exchange for referrals from the drugmaker, according to a filing from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York.

According to Acting U.S. Attorney, Joon Kim, the company was in competition with two other Exjade distributors for referrals from Novartis, with the drugmaker providing referrals based on how many prescriptions each pharmacy secured.

Between August 2010 and March 2012, Kim alleged, US Bioservices had its nurses call patients to encourage them to refill prescriptions for the iron overload drug by presenting “one-sided advice” that focused on hazards associated with failing to treat iron overload and minimized Exjade’s potential side effects, which include liver and kidney failure and gastrointestinal bleeding.

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