Drug Maker to Settle Kickback, Off-Label Allegations for $41M
Kos has agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement related to one count of conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute. The criminal information states that Kos conspired to violate the statute by agreeing to pay physicians kickbacks in exchange for prescribing for Kos drugs. Prosecutors claim that two doctors agreed to promote Kos products, including Advicor, to treat high cholesterol in exchange for money.
Between January 2002 and June 2006, one of the doctors wrote 4,130 prescriptions for Kos products. According to the court documents, some of those prescriptions were paid by Medicare and Medicaid. From 2002 to 2004, Kos paid the two doctors or a third party intermediary in the form of "sponsorship" of continuing medical education classes conducted by the doctors and purported speakers? fees. Kos has agreed to pay a $3.36 million criminal fine as a condition of the deferred prosecution agreement.
Federal prosecutors said they agreed to the deferred prosecution agreement because Kos conducted an internal investigation of misconduct, reported the findings to prosecutors, and has cooperated with the investigation.
The civil settlement resolves two whistleblower lawsuits brought forward by former Kos employees, who will split payments totaling more than $6.4 million from the federal share of the civil recovery.
John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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