Acting Attorney Joon H. Kim announced Wednesday that US Bioservices Corp has reached an agreement with federal officials to settle a civil healthcare fraud lawsuit. Under the settlement, US Bio will pay $13.4 million to the United States to resolve claims that it violated the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute, as well as with various state law civil fraud claims.
US Bio entered an agreement with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., as part of a kickback scheme. As part of the scheme, Novartis would provide US Bio with more patient referrals in return for refilling a higher number of Exjade than two other pharmaceutical companies, according to court documents.
Previously, the government filed lawsuits again Novartis and two pharmaceutical companies for participating in a similar kickback scheme associated with Exjade. Novartis agreed to pay the government $390 million to resolve the cases and the pharmaceutical company agreed to a $75 million settlement.
Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “The integrity of the federal healthcare system requires that all providers, including pharmacies like US Bioservices, refrain from entering into kickback relationships. When healthcare providers accept kickbacks, they violate the law, subject what should be health-based decision-making to the influence of profit-seeking drug manufacturers, and thereby put their own financial interests ahead of the interests of their patients. This Office will continue to use its law enforcement tools to pursue healthcare providers who accept kickbacks or otherwise put their profits ahead of patient safety.”
US Bio submitted thousands of claims for Exjade prescriptions to Medicaid and Medicare, resulting in the reimbursement of millions of dollars.