Gilead Inc. Agrees to $97m FCA Settlement

The Justice Department has announced that California based pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, Inc. has agreed to pay $97 million to settle allegations of fraud. Whistleblowers accused the company of using a foundation to illegally pay the prescription copays for a hypertension drug, Letairis, for millions of Medicare patients. Drug companies are prohibited, under the Anti-kickback Statute, from directly or indirectly incentivizing patients to purchase their drug; by covering the copay for Letairis patients, Gilead was able to increase the drug’s price to what would have otherwise resulted in prohibitively expensive copays. The Justice Department stated that price manipulation and unscrupulous subsidization of a company’s own drugs are exactly the types of behavior the Medicare copay structure was designed to prohibit, and that this settlement demonstrates the government’s emphasis on combatting healthcare fraud.

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