Biogen to pay $900 million to settle allegations it paid doctors kickbacks to prescribe multiple sclerosis drugs

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  • Former Biogen employee-turned-whistleblower Michael Bauduniak alleged that the company paid kickbacks to doctors to encourage them to prescribe drugs for multiple sclerosis.
  • Bauduniak will receive about $250 million in federal revenue, according to the Justice Department.
  • Biogen, in a statement on Monday, denied any wrongdoing in the case.

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On Monday, the Justice Department announced that Biogen would pay $900 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the company gave kickbacks to doctors to encourage them to prescribe their medications.

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Former Biogen employee-turned-whistleblower Michael Bauduniak sued the pharmaceutical company in 2012 on behalf of the federal government under the False Claims Act.

Bauduniak claimed that from 2009 to 2014, Biogen paid kickbacks to doctors in the form of speaking fees, consultations, and meals to encourage them to prescribe drugs for multiple sclerosis.

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According to the Justice Department, the alleged kickbacks have led to false claims to Medicare and Medicaid to prescribe Avonex, Tysabri and Tecfidera.

Biogen will pay more than $843 million to the federal government and $56 million to 15 states to settle the case. Bauduniak will receive about $250 million in federal revenue, according to the Justice Department.

“The settlement announced today highlights the critical role that whistleblowers play in addition to the United States’ use of the False Statement Act to combat fraud affecting federal health care programs,” said Brian Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s civil division.

Biogen, in a statement on Monday, denied any wrongdoing in the case. The company said it wants to resolve the lawsuit in order to focus on other priorities.

“Biogen believes that its intentions and actions have always been lawful and appropriate, and Biogen denies all allegations made in this case,” the company said. “The US and the states did not intervene, and the settlement does not include an admission of liability on the part of Biogen.”

Biogen said in its second-quarter earnings report that it had reached an agreement in principle to pay $900 million to settle the lawsuit.

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