Judge Rules Lawsuit Over Alleged Teva Kickbacks Will Proceed

September 15, 2021

A federal judge has denied Teva Pharmaceuticals’ motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging the Israeli drugmaker paid kickbacks to charitable foundations to subsidize Medicare patients’ out-of-pocket payments for its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone (glatiramer).

Teva claimed it wasn’t aware of how the foundations were using the millions of dollars it paid in charitable donations and that it couldn’t be held responsible for any false claims submitted to Medicare.

But Judge Nathaniel Gorton, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, dismissed that argument in a Sept. 9 ruling that allows an August 2020 lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to proceed.

The department has charged that from 2006 to 2015 Teva donated more than $328 million in alleged kickbacks to two different foundations, the Chronic Disease Fund and The Assistance Fund. During that time, the annual per-patient cost of Copaxone increased from an estimated $17,000 to more than $73,000, the DOJ noted.

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