On September 26, 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that pharmaceutical giant Biogen, Inc. agreed to pay $900 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by paying prescribing physicians kickbacks in exchange for prescribing its multiple sclerosis drugs. The whistleblower – a former Biogen employee – will receive over $266 million as part of his whistleblower reward for bringing this case to the government’s attention.
According to the whistleblower’s complaint and the government, Biogen violated the FCA and the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) by paying renumeration to its prescribing physicians by way of speaker honoraria, speaking training fees, consulting fees, and meals, as part of Biogen’s speaker programs. Chilivis Grubman has written about the risks of speaker programs, including HHS-OIG’S November 2020 Special Fraud Alert regarding the “fraud and abuse risks associated with speaker programs.”
This case highlights the continued risk for any healthcare provider who accepts anything of value from a pharmaceutical or device company with which that provider has a referral relationship.
The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman represent healthcare providers in connection with criminal and civil investigations, including FCA investigations and litigation. Please contact us today if you need assistance with such a matter.